Friday, July 26, 2019

The Value of a Library Card - St. Louis

Post updated from 2015

I conduct a lot of genealogy research from the comfort of my home computer. One of the key resources I use is my St. Louis County Public Library Card. (Other library systems, as well as some genealogy societies, provide similar resources for their users.)

Here's a sampling of databases I can search/browse from the comfort of my home, for free (complete list) I have indicated the subscription price I'd have to pay without the library card

Databases I could subscribe to as an individual
  • ($75/6 mos)
  • AccessibleArchives: ($90/year)
    • African American Newspapers 19th century
    • A Newspaper Perspective
  • ($45/6 mos)
    • I am assuming that the ProQuest library edition is similar to the Basic subscription
  • Fold3 ($80/year)
Databases only available to libraries and other institutions - not by individual subscription
  • Fire Insurance Maps Online
  • HeritageQuest Online
  • Newsbank: St. Louis Post Dispatch (1981-Current) 
  • Newsbank: Access World News (1978-current) 
  • Newsbank: America's Obituaries
  • ProQuest: Historical New York Times (1851-2011)
  • ProQuest: Historical St. Louis Post Dispatch (1874-1922)
  • ProQuest Digital Microfilm - St. Louis Post Dispatch 1989-Present
  • Gale Group: Nineteenth Century US Newspapers
  • EBSCOhost: Academic Search Elite (1985-current)
  • EBSCOhost: AAS Historical Periodicals Collection (1684-1912)
  • HistoryGeo (searchable database of 12.3 million names connected to land ownership maps covering the 29 public land states and Texas)
And while I can't access it from home, it is available to me at the library:
  • Ancestry Library Edition ($99/6 mos)
  • American Ancestors ($95/year)
  • FindMyPast ($129/year)
  • Archion (baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials for Protestant churches in Germany. 16th-19th century) $200/year (at current Euro to $ rates)
So calculating only the databases which I could purchase access to as an individual, I am saving $1,127/year with my library card. Then there are the databases I can't purchase access to as an individual.

I know I am lucky to live in St. Louis, as not every library has equivalent resources. However, if you don't check, you won't know what your library has to offer.

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