The Library of Congress for the United States has been collecting and preserving national, state and local histories for centuries, this includes some 50,000 compiled family histories. Many family histories also cover when families lived in other nations outside of the United States before they immigrated to America.
Some key items to include or know when doing your family history for others. Be organized with your family history, including a table of contents and an index of names and places used in your history will take additional time, but these added details will be very useful to future researchers consulting your history. Also, it is very important to document your research. By compiling and publishing a family history, you are inviting others to continue your research. Cite your records and document your sources wherever possible. With documentation, others can build upon on the work you have done, and your history is more credible. There are various style manuals or online resources that can assist you with citation styles for footnotes, endnotes and bibliographies. If you decide to distribute your family history outside of your immediate family, be sure not to include personal information about people who are still living in order to protect their privacy.
Write up what you have gathered, even if there is a chance more information might be discovered later. A revised edition can always be done after the first edition. Remember with family history research, you are never truly ‘done’.
The Library of Congress accepts published and self-published family histories or just your typed-written family history / family tree / family stories which has not been published. Print if possible the history on acid-free paper. You can bind it or if it is loose-leaf then allow large margins so the Library of Congress can bind it.
You can either personally donate a copy of your family history directly to the Library of Congress at the Main Reading Room, located on the first floor of the Jefferson Building in Washington, D. C. Or you can send a copy of the family history via US mail or FedEx to:
Library of Congress
Local History and Genealogy
101 Independence Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20540-4660
By making available to a wide audience those who search at the Library of Congress (books are not removed), new branches of your family may be able to be connected. Plus this would be a method that your family, its stories, etc., are preserved forever.
Photos: Outside today of the Library of Congress; Inside of the Library of Congress and 1902 view of the Library of Congress.
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