Illinois Talking Book and Braille Service has Genealogy Resources

The Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS) provides audio and braille library service via mail or digital download to any Illinois resident who is unable to read standard print material due to a permanent or temporary visual or physical disability. TBBS has genealogy resources.

The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State website says that Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) and Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) have consolidated their TBBS services with the Illinois State Library. The location of the talking book library has changed, but patrons will continue to receive exceptional TBBS service and support.

The News Gazette reported that TBBS has over 84,000 talking books available as well as 15,400 Braille books. In order to play talking books, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides free audio book players to active patrons.

A quick search of TBBS for the word “genealogy” brought up 187 results. Each book has a brief description and a notation about its status. Some talking books are downloadable. Some are listed as “download or special order only”. Others require you to call the library in order to access them. Some are in Braille.

Here are a few of the talking books available via TBBS:

“Long Distance Genealogy” by Randy Atcher. “A Guide to genealogy for beginners and those who cannot travel, emphasizing the principles of research and the types of records that can be accessed without leaving home.” The book has a male narrator. Book Length: 14 hours, 57 minutes

“Unpuzzling your past: a basic guide to genealogy” by Emily Anne Croom. “Designed for people who want to know more about their family tree but don’t know where to begin. This book has a male narrator. Book length: 13 hours, 41 minutes

“Searching for your ancestors: the how and why of genealogy” by Gilbert Harry Doane. “Basic guide packed with information and anecdotes for amateur genealogists” The book has a male narrator. Book Length: 8 hours, 37 minutes

“Who do you think you are?: Digging for your family roots” by Suzanne Hilton. “Informal and enthusiastic guide to tracing one’s ancestors and constructing a family tree.” The audience for this book is listed as junior and senior high. The book has a male narrator. Book length: 3 hours, 47 minutes

Related Articles at

* Those Lesser Known Resources

* Chicago & Cook County, Illinois Death Records 1878-1994

* Illinois Genealogy

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