It may not have occurred to you but your own local public library may have many of the subscription fee-based databases available free to you. Such resources as Ancestry.com, Fold3 (military records and related info), World Vital Records, Newspaper Archives, HeritageQuest, Newspaper.com or My Heritage sites can be accessed using computers at the library, or you bring in your laptop and using their Wi-Fi there.
Another possible benefit is that some libraries have these databases linked to the library web site, so you can also have access at home for free. Now in each case for public libraries you much be a resident of the county or region it serves. So it just a matter of getting a library card if you don’t have one already. If you go to a neighboring library which might be larger and offer greater services, then a monthly or yearly fee might be charged to get their library card. However, that is less than paying for all the above databases … a figure easily over $500.
If your local library doesn’t carry any of these databases you are specifically interested in, put in a request to the library manager that it be added into their upcoming budget. Encourage family and friends to make the same request, even if they don’t use those databases, they will be helping you. Ask or check the library web site for any other historical or genealogical digital resources they have with their systems. There could be a local newspaper that is digital for you to use instead of reading those difficult microfilm editions.
Photos: Atlanta Public Library, Bozeman Public Library computers in Montana, and Fold3 type of digital documents.
Related FamilyTree.com genealogy blogs:
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