Monday, March 30, 2009

Scottish Monumental Transcription Books

The St. Louis County Library Special Collections department puts out a monthly newsletter called PastPorts (Link to site where you can download PDF copies of past issues.)

The current issue announces a recent acquisition that doesn't help me much, as I am unaware of any Scottish ancestors, but it might help some others. (And the library offers a photocopy/mail service for out-of-towners.)

To quote from the newsletter:
Discoveries await in the volumes of Scottish monumental inscription books now available in Special Collections Department. Published in Scotland, these books are rarely available in U.S. libraries. Of the more than 400 titles in the collection, the St. Louis County Library is the only institution listed as owning 250 of them, according to the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), whose WorldCat database includes the holdings of most U.S. libraries.

Monumental inscription books are, as the name suggests, transcriptions of texts inscribed on tombstones and other monuments to the dead, such as memorial plaques, war memorials, and church monuments. While some inscriptions are brief, many offer detailed information.
To find a volume dealing with a specific locality, visit the St. Louis County Library’s online catalog and do a keyword search for the words “inscriptions” and “Scotland.” Browse the list, or search by adding a specific place name as a third keyword.

The Department’s monumental inscription books (with a few exceptions) are reference copies that do not circulate. Researchers who cannot visit the Department in person can access the information by requesting a lookup as follows:

1. Search the library’s online catalog to determine a book of interest. Most books include surname indexes.

2. A lookup request must state the individual’s name and the specific monumental inscription book to search.

3. Patrons may ask for up to three searches per request by written letter or by e-mail to scollections at Emails should include a postal mailing address.

4. If the requested information is found, copies of appropriate pages will be sent by U.S. Post along with an invoice for 15 cents per photocopy plus a $1 processing fee.

More info on library research fees. I'd offer to do lookups for people too, but I can't beat the library's prices, and I'm sure they'll do it more quickly than I could.

No comments: