Over Memorial Day weekend, attention turns to our national, local and family histories. Just in time, Live-brary.com - the digital branch of the 56 local public libraries of Suffolk County, NY - offers four new databases for historical and genealogical research. These include: New York Amsterdam News, Footnote, World Vital Records, and Heritage Quest. Each database is highlighted along the bottom of the Live-brary.com homepage and found in the menu tab, Research: Biography & Genealogy.
Exploring the past has always been a means for better understanding ourselves, said Kevin Verbesey, director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System (SCLS) that oversees Live-brary.com. And, now, Suffolk County public library cardholders can immediately go online to Live-brary.com and avail themselves of all these new terrific research tools... for free.
World Vital Records links to birth, marriage, death, military, census, and parish records online and Footnote provides a database of history and genealogy archives with social networking and interactive features. Heritage Quest combines searchable images of U.S. federal census records with the digitized version of the popular UMI ® Genealogy and the Local History book collection. The database of New York Amsterdam News, one of the nation's leading black newspapers published from 1922 to 1993, is an important New York genealogy resource.
According to Diane Eidelman, Administrator for Member Services at SCLS, baby boomers and retirees are particularly keen about the availability of this information for researching and sharing family history. Television programs such as Who Do You Think You Are? and Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr. have stimulated interest in genealogy, and the ready online access to these databases makes doing research manageable and fun!
In 2010, the local public libraries of Suffolk County came together to launch the digital branch, Live-brary.com, to provide the county's one million patrons a selection of free online resources including live homework help and downloadable eBooks, audio books, movies and music.