Close to Home–Because I Have Learned So Much…

Close to Home

Each Genealogy News Sheet written from our Eastern Trip 2007 includes just a short glimpse into some of the most important genealogy research libraries in America. And I have learned about so much on this trip I have had to pick and choose. So Kathryn, my web master, and I have decided to include these libraries and archives in the Close to Home series–with a separate page for each one.

You can review them and plan to visit those facilities which are Close to Home for you and your ancestry. Stay tuned.

Family History and Genealogy are Special Collections

For many years, family histories and genealogies were shelved in the regular stacks in university libraries and specific genealogy repositories. And a favorite strategy of mine was to request these books on interlibrary loan when I did not have access to them in libraries in Utah. Now, family histories and genealogies have been placed in Special Collections–even newly published volumes.

Materials in Special Collections can only be used onsite. And those published before 1950 are frequently restricted and cannot be photocopied. Copy rules vary with every repository. So be sure to add this to your list of questions to ask as you plan research in the field. Hand copying or typing the text into your laptop is a time-eater.

Good Food With Attitude

One of the perks of research in the field is the chance to sample new eating venues and experiences. Here are three of our favorites:

1. Firehouse Cafe, Fort Wayne IN. Next door to the Allen County Public Library is the Firehouse Cafe. Located in a real firehouse, this cafe presents tempting sandwiches, salads, and soups amidst Dalmation collectibles. Recommended to us by Debbie Carder Mayes.

2. Sweetpeas Cafe, Library of Virginia. Sweetpeas makes a chicken wrap so delicious that Kathryn ordered it three days in a row! This is a growing trend–cafes inside the library to bring people to the Library for lunch–and hope they stay to read.

3. Smiley’s Steakhouse, Adair Iowa. We searched, in vain, for the Danish town of Elkhorn Iowa thinking we could eat lunch in a Danish ambience to break our long drive of more than 700 miles on Halloween. Plan B was the newly opened Smiley’s right next to the Interstate. Kathryn had the rib-eye steak with salad bar and I had a hamburger, made “my way.” I couldn’t resist the Steak and Wild Rice Soup–delicious! And for desert, we were surprised to be treated to Peanut Butter Dream Pie with real whipped cream and cinnamon. This restaurant gets my vote for the Best of Trip!

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