Thursday, May 12, 2011

Another Take On Local Museums - an Overlooked Genealogy Treasure Trove!

Knight Museum and Sandhills Center houses Heritage Research Room
The very recent article by Lorine at Olive Tree Genealogy sure does hit home and prompted me to add my comments on using your local museum sources. Be sure to stop over at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog and read her entire article.

Our local museum just recently re-opened in its new location  and we have a wonderful  Heritage Room that was specifically designed for local history and genealogy research. We are so lucky to have a great facility here and ours could easily be used as prime example of how local museums can integrate their record holdings into the over all public use of their facilities. The Knight Museum and Sandhills Center in Alliance, Nebraska is a state of the art facility in a small city setting. We house many records that not only pertain to Box Butte County, Alliance and the surrounding communities but also many which center on western Nebraska.  Our museum is also the caretaker for many older records that were once housed at the court house here. You can read a full listing of the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center holdings on a post by Nebraska Roots and Ramblings blog which can be found below.

Our museum director has been instrumental in building up our fine researching facility and she and her hard working staff spend several hours each day working with organizing the holdings as well as helping with the many local patron and distant inquiries from all over the country for records.  Our museum will do simple research on past area residents, scan or copy nearly any document in their growing collections to help with genealogy requests or historical projects. We are so lucky as genealogists to have places locally that will help in our quest for information. Like Lorine stated in her blog, a donation to your local facility will help to insure the future of these repositories for us all. Libraries have traditionally been the keepers of records but many museums have holdings of documents that are often an overlooked source, especially the museums in small towns and communities.

Be sure to check out your local museum or those from your family ancestral areas for unexpected treasures, you may just find more than you ever thought possible. Museums now are often so much more than places to view beautiful displays of "times gone by". Your family stories or photos just may be lurking in a forgotten corner or drawer, just waiting to be discovered!

Knight Museum and Sandhills Center - Alliance, Nebraska

Nebraska Roots and Ramblings (describes holdings of the Museum Heritage Room)