User:AdkinsWH/Sandbox Closer to home access

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United States Gotoarrow.png AdkinsWH/Sandbox Closer to home access
See also Gotoarrow.png Obtain the Records and Principles of Family History Research

Making a copy of an original document or searching a set of records yourself is not always convenient. This page offers options for gaining access to far-away items.

Get a Copy

The closer you can get to an original document, the better. Originals usually contain important clues, that were missed or misread in indexes or transcripts.

This article provides options for obtaining the records through the Internet, through libraries and record holders, and through services. It is also a central listing of the many Wiki articles about the subject.

See also Obtain the Records

Internet Resources

Millions of indexes and document images are added to the Internet every day. Some sites may be used free of charge and some ask you to subscribe ($) to search and view the indexes and/or images.

Popular sites for indexes or images

Sites for locating items in libraries or archives

(needs better heading)

  • WorldCat (Free)
  • Jstore

Government and University sites

  • National Archives
  • State Archives
  • Universities and Special Collections
  • State Libraries
  • Societies

Link-listing sites

(needs better heading) These sites scour the Internet for links to genealogy, history, and related items:

Social Media

  • Genealogical community (cost trade off)
  • Forums
  • Facebook groups, etc.

Books, microfilm, other media

You may want to view the tutorial "Ancestors Season 1: Libraries and Archives" at the FamilySearch Learning Center.

Inter-library loan, etc.

Not everyone learned about ILL

Local Resources

There may be fees involved, including copy costs

Go there yourself

Search Services

"Look it up" vs. "Track it down"

Look ups

You are very involved in the research when you use look-up services. You will tell them everything:

  • The name(s) you want them to look up
  • The record to search and copy, such as "index to Deed Book B"
  • A short date range, such as "The Daily World, for death notices and obituaries from April 12–22, 1915"

This may be a two-step process to have them first send you the index, from which you decide which specific copies to order.

Record holders: Libraries, societies, archives, offices, private record holders Record searchers


You are less involved when you use research services. Frequently, you will supply what you already know and what you want to learn.

  • Referrals from libraries, societies, archives, friends

Types of Records

  • Then by topics -- with links to states topics? If so, then the list can be generated in Excel

with links to states topics? If so, then the list can be generated in Excel

Family Records

Many families have stories or records that will help you. Bibles, photos, deeds, marriage certificates, wills, employment records, funeral programs, and much more may be stored in an attic, garage, or basement.

For ideas to access family records, see:

Land and Property


To Categorize

  • About Digital Public Library of America. Accessed 5/8/2013