Online catalogs help navigate several libraries

Posted Sept. 28, 2008, at 8:53 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 5:59 a.m.

The family histories are 929s, and the town histories are 974s. Knowing that will help you navigate facilities such as Bangor Public Library and Maine State Library in Augusta.

But Special Collections at the University of Maine’s Fogler Library in Orono has its own numbering system, and really, if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, using a card catalog can be a big help as well as a time saver.

The best thing to do, as I’ve often said, is to make a list of the resources you want to check at a particular facility, with call numbers. And often, you can check the “card catalog” from any computer with Internet access.

For Bangor Public Library, Maine State Library and Fogler Library at UM, we love URSUS at http://ursus.maine.edu

Add to that list of libraries by visiting MAINECAT at http://mainecat.maine.edu

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned Jack Ahern’s “Bound for Munsungun,” which includes information on several local families from the Munsungan Lake area.

Checking both URSUS and MAINECAT, I found that the Munsungun book is in Bangor Public Library, Maine State Library, Fogler Library, Colby College Library in Waterville, Lewiston Public Library and the University of New England Library.

Keep in mind that not all local libraries are included in these catalogs.

I like to search library catalogs by keyword. More rare keywords work well, such as Munsungun and Piscataquis.

For a place such as Greenville, it’s best to add the state because there are several towns by that name. Why would libraries in Maine have material on the other Greenvilles? Well, UM’s Fogler Library is a repository of federal documents, including lots of miscellaneous items on towns and cities outside Maine.

Both MSL and UM’s Fogler Library have Emma J. True’s “History of Greenville, 1836-1936,” a small volume which isn’t big on genealogy.

Those libraries and Bangor Public Library each have William R. Sawtell’s “Glimpses of Greenville,” which includes Linda Hubbard McBreairty’s interview with longtime resident Harold Walden.

All three of those libraries, plus Maine Historical Society in Portland, Bowdoin College Library in Brunswick and Scarborough Public Library have Otis Hayford’s “History of the Hayford Family, 1100-1900, with biographical sketches and illustrations: its connections by the Bonney, Fuller and Phinney families with the Mayflower, 1620, Chickering family, 1356-1900.”

This family includes the Hayford family that is connected to Hayford Park off Union Street in Bangor.

Isn’t it wonderful when a card catalogue entry includes mention of other families that can be found in the book? Here’s one from MAINECAT:

Axel Hayford Reed’s “Genealogical Record of the Reads, Reeds, the Bisbees, the Bradfords of the United States of America in the line of Esdras Read of Boston and England, 1635-1915. Thomas Besbedge or Bisbee of Scituate, Mass., and England, 1634 to 1915. Governor William Bradford of Plymouth, Mass., and England, 1620 to 1915. And their connections, with biographical sketches, illustrations, military services, etc., etc., etc.”

Etc., etc., etc?

Maine State Library has that book, as does the Maine Historical Society in Portland.

It’s vital to know the hours of the library you plan to visit, so call ahead or check the Web site before going.

Many libraries are open more hours during the school year than in the summer.

• Bangor Public Library is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

• Maine State Library is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

• Fogler Library at the University of Maine in Orono has hours that vary. I usually call the “hours recording” at 581-1664 before making the trip. During the school year, it’s best to go at 4 p.m. or later weekdays, or anytime they’re open weekends. Still, check the hours because they are shorter when the students are on a break. When school is in session, Special Collections on the third floor, in what used to be called the Maine Room, is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Saturday. Even when Special Collections is closed, you can check the stacks for books on other states and Canada. In addition, microfilm with census records, Maine vital records 1892-1955 and newspapers are available whenever the library is open.

Keep in mind that many of the books we are most interested in as genealogists “do not circulate,” because they are essentially reference works that should be in libraries all the time.

But unless they are very old and fragile, we can photocopy pages from these books to take home and peruse. Don’t forget to copy the title page as well for later reference.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to familyti@bangordailynews.net.

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