Genealogists in Arizona are losing a resource. Arizona’s genealogical library has closed at the State Library at the Capitol. The space that used to hold the genealogical library will be used for other purposes now. Where will the genealogy resources go?
The genealogical library at the Arizona State Capitol closed on July 31, 2015. AZCentral reported that the family-research community in the area felt that they were not given an adequate amount of notice about it. There apparently wasn’t much of an effort made in terms of community outreach.
The same website reported that the genealogy library “gets low usage”. It annually averaged about three visitors per day. The move of the genealogy resources is part of a restructuring of the library, archives, and public records division.
What resources were in Arizona’s genealogy collection? There were 20,000 items, including books, manuscripts, and newsletters. It held reference books that pointed researchers to U.S. Census data, and a popular collection of books on Mayflower families. Books on histories of Arizona families were part of the library collection, and so were individual family histories that had been donated to the state of Arizona.
The genealogy library also offered free access to online genealogy websites including HeritageQuest Online and Ancestry.com. This type of free access is only offered to libraries. Those who were using the free online resources at the Arizona genealogical library might find the same resource at their local public library.
A small portion of the collection of resources from the Arizona genealogical library will be relocated to the Genealogy Center at the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Buildings. It is located a few blocks away from the state capitol.
The new Genealogy Center will have online databases on three computer terminals. Those databases can be used for free. The most used reference books from the Arizona genealogical library will be moved to the Genealogy Center. Some of those resources include a collection on Mayflower families and materials covering territorial days.
What about the rest? Most of it will be placed into archival storage. Genealogists seeking those resources will have to specifically request them. These resources will be stored in archival “pods” at the Rosenbaum building.
Items that haven’t been used in years are being eliminated from the collection. The individual family histories that were donated to the state of Arizona are also being eliminated from the collection. Items that are already duplicated in the Archives are not going to be placed in the Genealogy Center.
Image by Austin Kirk on Flickr.
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