Friday, March 22, 2013

Recent New Memberships: An historical society, a genealogy society and an historic library

After a long interlude, I am glad to be back adding content to the blog.  Completing graduate school, taking on a new job and relocating across the country have been both exciting and bewildering! 


The Maine Historical Society is located in Portland, Maine.  Members have access to a number of resources including the Brown Library housing over 100,000 printed books and manuscripts.  The MHS provides tours of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and Garden. There is also an onsite museum with a current exhibit on how electricity came to Maine.  An incredible resource to researchers/genealogists for family and general history of Maine is the affiliation that the MHS has with the Maine Memory Network, a digital database of thousands of historical items. The engraving above shows the grounds and buildings of a women's seminary school in 1870 which then existed in Westbrook.

The American-French Genealogical Society is less than an hours drive from my current residence in Massachusetts.  Devoted to people of French-Canadian ancestry, the society houses a research library and publishes a semi-annual journal.  On my first research visit to the library, I found a book on the Alberts which listed the marriages of some very distant ancestors in my line, i.e., Gabriel and Pierre Albert.

The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA is a research library housing “the largest and most accessible collection of printed materials from first contact through 1876 in what is now the United States, the West Indies and parts of Canada”.  After viewing the informational video about the library, I was compelled to take advantage of this incredible resource for researchers.  Famous people like author and historian, David McCullough, have researched in this library. Using the online catalog before I arrived, I identified three books which I requested to be pulled from the shelves (only resident librarians can access the stacks).  One of the books is called Washington Heights Manhattan - Its Eventful Past by Reginald Bolton.  In this book was a whole chapter on the Dykemans, one of my paternal lines, who lived in Manhattan during the Dutch years. The picture displayed was taken during my visit in February. 

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