Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday's Tip ~ Pratt & Maryland Genealogy

History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men by Duane Hamilton Hurd, published 1884
My mother was born and raised in Baltimore City, Maryland. One of her favorite places to visit was the Enoch Pratt Free Library. She talks about hours spent among the stacks in search of the "perfect book".

Those were the days of card catalogue and voices not raised above a whisper. No talking books and movie DVD's. Just the pure pleasure of finding the right book and a librarian weaving magical stories.

Visiting the central branch as an adult I can understand my mother's feelings of awe and enchantment. I believe one reason she developed such a passion for reading is this wonderful institution. A love that has been passed down many generations.

Further information about Enoch Pratt and his library :

Appleton's cyclopedia of American biography, vol. 5 : edited by James Grant Wilson & John Fiske, published 1888

Enoch Pratt Free Library Facebook

Enoch Pratt Free Library photostream on Flickr

History of the Pratt - Enoch Free Pratt Library site

Do a Google search and you will discover an array of information public libraries have available for family research. Just this morning I searched "public library" + "genealogy" resulting in 4,490,000 results!

Many libraries have access to databases, information about local historical societies and librarians who specialize in genealogy.

A wonderful discovery at the Pratt has been the genealogy collection housed in the Maryland Room. This has become one of my favorite places to visit.

On the libraries website you will find "A Guide to Genealogical Research in the Maryland Department." Listed are resources ranging from books, newspapers, maps, and web sites. This page is the best place to start when researching genealogy in Maryland.

My library card has been the key to unlocking mysteries. Having access to a local newspaper database has garnered family obituaries, wedding announcements, and court cases.

Check out your public library (pun intended) for resources, guidance, and connections.

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