Sunday, January 11, 2009

Missouri History Museum Research Library

Back on Wednesday, I mentioned that I was going to visit the Missouri History Museum on Saturday.

It was a fun experience. First time visitors are asked to read a list of procedures, which are all basic stuff. Treat the documents with care. No pens are allowed - pencils only.

Somewhat frustrating is their insistence that staff do the photocopying. I understand it. They have some fragile books, and staff are trained on how to make photocopies while doing the least damage to the books. But there were a couple photocopies made yesterday for me that weren't as good as the others, and I don't know if it was due to the condition of the book, or whether a better job could have been done. All the photocopies were of high school yearbook photos spanning the years 1917-1933 for some collateral kin. The photocopies only cost 25 cents apiece, which easily justifies the trip if you live in the vicinity.

I had also found in my search of their index a scrapbook, "St. Louis in World War II" which contains several volumes of newspaper clippings. My grandfather appeared in one article, but it was a listing of several dozen St. Louisans headed off to Red Cross training, and didn't provide any information I didn't already have. There was a similar article that mentioned a cousin of his headed for naval training.

They have several card catalogs that aren't yet in the online index. A brief search through them revealed they have a collection of obituaries, though it is a relatively recent one, as I saw no relatives who passed prior to 1980 in the catalog.

I will probably have to go back for a more in-depth search of their holdings at some point.

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