Across the country there are some really great free resources for genealogy research. Libraries are a rich source of free records, materials and tools to aid researchers in their family tree research for many countries. I’ll be posting a series on the best libraries for researching your family history starting with the Allen County Public Library Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Fort Wayne, IN Located in Allen County
If you have never been to Fort Wayne, IN it is a really nice place to live and/or visit. My husband and I met in Indiana. He is originally from the New Haven/Fort Wayne area and I moved there years ago.
We lived in Fort Wayne for a while, before moving out west, and one of the main attractions, at least for me, was the Allen County Public Library located in downtown Fort Wayne.
I have always held a fondness for books. As a child I read a lot and I mean a lot! I read three novels a day during summer breaks and so the Allen County Public Library was a dream place for me!
The rows and rows of books, the reading tower, the large computer area, the genealogy section, the coffee stand, the art wing, and the rest of the enormous library was like a sanctuary for me.
I spent many days up in the reading tower. I really loved it at the library and every time my husband and I visit Indiana, that is the one place I have to go.
The Genealogy Center
The Allen County Public Library is truly a huge library and has a lot to offer. Really there is something there for everyone and for all of us genealogists there is a whole wing devoted to family history research. Visit the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center online here. You can visit in person with the below address. If you are planning a visit, make sure to check their website for the online catalog which allows you to check the databases to see if there is something there for you to research prior to making the trip.
Allen County Public Library
900 Library Plaza
PO Box 2270
Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2270
Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
It is great they are open on Sundays! A library with weekend hours is a great thing indeed!
Genealogy Center Databases & Research Archives
The genealogy center at the Allen County Public Library is one of the largest collections of genealogy data anywhere. It contains records from all over the world and is a great resource for genealogists all over. One of the greatest aspects of the genealogy center at ACPL is that their librarians are all genealogists! The staff is very knowledgeable and can answer questions and assist you with your research.
If you visit the online center for the genealogy department, you’ll notice they hold events like 30-minute personal consultations for genealogy research with staff members. I visit the site regularly and see they are always holding some sort of genealogy related events. That would be something you would want to check out if you plan a research trip to Fort Wayne, IN.
The Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center collaborates with other libraries across the county to get the archives online and available for use. The following is a list of the collaborative efforts available thus far:
- Allen County Public Library
- American Fork Library
- Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
- Birmingham Public Library
- Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library
- Brigham Young University, Hawaii Joseph F. Smith Library
- Brigham Young University, Idaho David O. McKay Library
- Church History Library
- Family History Library
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Houston Public Library – Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
- Mid-Continent Public Library – Midwest Genealogy Center
- Maine State Library
- Onondaga County Public Library
- University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries
The links to these sites are all found within the online center at ACPL. This collaboration effort is called Family History Books and contains more than 350,000 records from around the world. Included in the collection are local and county histories, family histories, some genealogy magazines, some how-to books and medieval histories and family pedigrees.
The genealogy center at ACPL also has more than 95,000 books which have been digitized from their own collection. The collection includes books written in several languages, books from areas across the country and also includes microfilm, and another almost 3 million books which have been digitized from libraries all over the country. The database is search-able by keyword and best of all, completely free!
The genealogy center at ACPL has yet another collaboration which is actually an online family tree. It is a collaborative effort with all the members contributing information. The site is completely free and currently has 2.9 million people adding records. It runs off of tax-deductible contributions and volunteers. This free genealogy site is called werelate.org.
So Much To See, So Much To Do, So Little Time
There is really a lot of information available for genealogists at the Allen County Public Library and it is a really great collection. It would be worth your time to plan a trip and see what all they have to offer, and best of all it is completely free! If you feel the need to plan a trip, just make sure to schedule a tour of the department and use the trip planner online to see what is all available in the collection to research while you are there. Also, don’t forget to bring along your portable external hard drive! These handy devices help researchers stay organized.
The Allen County Public Library – A Must See Stop For Genealogists!
If you have the time and money for travel, then visiting the ACPL is a great place for genealogists to go for researching their family history. I would really prefer to have the time to research in a large library and this one in particular, but my time currently does not allow for that so I primarily utilize online free genealogy websites like WikiTree.
For those of you close to Fort Wayne, IN I would definitely recommend taking a trip to this library. There is a lot of information in this library and something for everyone! If you bring along your children/grand-children, there is a wing for kids too! They will absolutely love the children’s wing and it will keep them occupied while you do your research!
The genealogy center at ACPL has an extensive collection for genealogy, state-of-the-art equipment, librarians that are also genealogists, and so much more! If you are planning a trip somewhere in the Midwest, add a stop in Fort Wayne and check out the library for yourself.
Please comment below if you have used the genealogy center at the Allen County Public Library or have any questions or other comments. I would love to hear you thoughts and please like and share this post with the links below if you found it to be useful!
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