Sunday, September 9, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 37

Week 37: State Archives. Which state archives repository is your favorite? Have you been there in person? What does their website offer to visitors? Share any advice you can to potential visitors who may visit the archives in the future.

The state archives that I've visited most often is the Alabama Archives in Montgomery.  I used to live about 15 miles north of that city and spent a number of hours in the Archives.  However, I moved away in 2004 and had not been back until last week.  On the Tuesday before the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) Conference in Birmingham, I took the time to spend a morning at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.  I knew when I moved away, a new wing had been planned for the building, but I had never been able to see it.  Oh my!  What a wonderful facility. Everything is much, much easier to access now.  Sorry, I didn't take a photo!

I recommend you visit their website, link above, to discover what is available.  You will find links to their online databases, the county holdings, the form and instructions for requests by mail, their hours and location.  If you can visit in person, it is always best to prepare a list ahead of time for film or books you wish to see - the catalog is available online.  There was plenty of free parking in a lot across the street.  You will be able to take a laptop inside, but not in its case; also only a single file folder/notebook and pencils are allowed.  You might like to have a sweater or light jacket. Lockers are available and readily accessible for your belongings.

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