Libraries a boon to research, even in summer months

Posted Aug. 08, 2009, at 12:43 p.m.

What a beautiful time of year to do genealogy. Many of us add to our information by getting out into the cemeteries to add dates, and possibly more names, to our records.

But let’s not forget the libraries. With school out for the summer, we may find libraries a little more laid-back during the summer.

But first — check the hours. While some libraries have year-round hours, many change their hours during the summer when students aren’t using them so much.

For instance, Bangor Public Library is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday during the summer. It is closed Saturday and Sunday.

In addition, the library will close at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, for an in-service day. It also will be closed for furlough days Aug. 21-24 and Dec. 20-27.

Check out the Web site at www.bangor.lib.me.us/

Read up on the library’s special collections, many of which are in the Bangor Room on the third floor. There is an elevator inside the entrance to the children’s department.

The University of Maine Fogler Library in Orono has changes in its hours in the summer — and throughout the school year, too. That’s why I carry the telephone number for Fogler’s hours in my head — 581-1664. I usually call to listen to the recording before running up there.

For special collections, you also can check the Web site, www.umaine.edu, to make sure when they’re open.

Maine State Library in Augusta has year-round hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. The library is closed on all state holidays. The Web address is www.maine.gov/msl/

Maine State Archives, though it is in the same building as the library in Augusta, has its own hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed on legal holidays. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. you can use the microfilm, or material that you have arranged to have available on that day. In other words, at lunchtime, staff is not available to retrieve materials from other parts of the building.

The Web site is www.maine.gov/sos/arc/

This one’s in my head also, because it’s the Web page for the state Death Index, 1960-1996; and the state Marriage Index, 1892-1966 and 1977-1996.

Want to print out all the death dates or marriages for your surname? No problem. Enter the surname rather than both names and print away.

Ellsworth Public Library, in the county seat of Hancock County, is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

Check out the Web site at www.ellsworth.lib.me.us/

Its features information on the Alvin S. Whitmore Collection of genealogical items.

Have fun at the libraries.

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Dr. Carol Prescott McCoy will present “Tracing Your Ancestors: Getting Started” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, at the Camden Public Library. The talk presents the fundamentals of genealogy and family research to help people get started on a solid foundation, so that new researchers can learn how to unravel family mysteries and avoid common pitfalls.

The presentation is free. Call Heather Bilodeau at 236-3440 to register. The talk is part of the programming offered by the library’s Walsh History Center.

Prescott McCoy has her own genealogy and family history business, www.find-your-roots.com located in Yarmouth.

She has been doing genealogy research for more than 30 years and has been helping others since 2001.

Her areas of focus are New England, New York, West Virginia and Maritime Canada. As president of the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society, she leads a project to index early deeds of Cumberland County, 1760-1796.

She enjoys giving workshops and presentations and has done so at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference, at the MGS Conferences, at Boston’s University’s Certificate in Genealogy Program, at the University of Southern Maine, and for many societies.

She especially enjoys helping others improve their genealogy skills. As a social psychologist and life coach, she said she believes that you can only learn so much about a person by concentrating on his or her own life; you learn so much more through family research.

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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