27 May 2009

Researching In Fort Wayne

Spent a few days at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Tips I want to remember for my next visit:

Use a thumb drive at the computers to download images -- it's free -- instead of making copies
(I believe the microfilm readers allow thumb drives, too, but did not use them.) Used the computers for "Footnote.com" and "Ancestry.com."

The copiers use cards (similar to the Library of Michigan) AND coins.

Pick up a copy of a computer guest pass (a new one each day) at the desk upon arrival at the Genealogy Section.

Use handout "Location Guide for Books in the Genealogy Center" -- I declined the librarian's offer of a map of the genealogy section, but picked up one on the second day of research and found it helpful. A "Stack Number" is listed, helping to find which bookcase one would find the wanted subject (i.e., PA books are filed in Stacks 180-184), then a Call # (PA is 974.8 with additional numbers/letters possibly added*). The stack number is the larger number located on each end of the bookshelf and is easier to read from a distance and will get one in the general vicinity to browse a specific location (i.e., PA); the Call numbers (Dewey) are smaller and listed underneath their respective Shelf numbers.

An example*:
974.801 AL5MCA
Births, marriages & deaths of Allegheny Co., Pa., 1852-1854
1st ed. McFarland, K. T. H.

After finding a publication in the PERSI catalog (I used the online version at HeritageQuest at home) of interest, look up that periodical in the Allen Co. Library online catalog. Since the PERSI entry did not have a Dewey decimal number, I (wrongly) assumed that the periodicals were filed as they were at the Library of Michigan (all of the periodicals shelved together, because they are periodicals). Apparently they used to be shelved in a similar fashion, but are now interspersed with the books with the same focus, so a Dewey number has to be found.

Before leaving the building, take your parking ticket and pay at the automated machine on the first floor (15 minutes before your redeemed ticket expires).

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