The ONLINE CARD CATALOG is a great place to start your search! It lists nearly all of the books and research materials in our Genealogy & History Library, plus some links to outside sources, accessed by title, author, and description keywords. The catalog is not intended, however, to be a comprehensive index of everything we have about a surname. We have many additional indexes and finding aids that we can assist you with using in our Library.
***IMPORTANT SEARCH INSTRUCTIONS AND TIPS****
This search finds EXACT WORD MATCHES ONLY!
-You can search for single words, names, or exact short phrases* in TITLE, DESCRIPTION, or AUTHOR categories. Search terms are not case-sensitive (capitalization does not matter).
–For the broadest results, search one category and one term at a time. Trying a word in [Title] and then in [Description] may yield different results.
–For narrower results, use multiple search boxes to add search criteria. This makes an “AND” search where the results match ALL the criteria. You can combine up to 3 title terms, 3 description terms, and author last and first name.
Example 1: [Title1] WASHINGTON + [Title2] MARY + [Title3] BALL = any books with all 3 words in the title, in any order.
Example 2: [Description1] MARRIAGE + [Description2] LANCASTER = both words are somewhere in the description field, in any order.
Example 3: [Title1]LANCASTER + [Author] SPARACIO = any books with Lancaster in the title by (Ruth or Sam) Sparacio. For reseachers familiar with these abstract books, this is a quick way to get a list of all their works for a particular county.
*Using PHRASES vs. COMBINED SEARCH BOXES:
A phrase entered in one search box will match only that exact string of words together in the given order. So, searching the Title phrase “Mary Washington” would find the book “The Story of Mary Washington” but would not find the book “Mary Ball Washington” or “George Washington and his mother Mary“. If you do not know an exact book title, you may have better results using single words in multiple search boxes, as explained above.
-Try various spellings, singular/plural forms, and common abbreviations.
-Be less specific. For example, use “Lancaster” instead of “Lancaster County” or “Deed” instead of “Deed Book.”
-Think creatively! For example, materials related to death records may use various terms like Death, Grave, Cemetery, Cemeteries, etc.