This summer, as you get together with family at a reunion, you may be motivated to dive deeper into your family tree. Did you know that the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., has free tools available to help you research your family’s history?
As a major source for Lycoming County genealogical information, the library has available major local newspapers from 1807 to the present on microfilm or access an index by surname, covering 1807-1904, for articles on marriages, obituaries, funerals and news items. Each reference in the index includes the name of the newspaper, date and the page on which the article can be found. The newspapers are not digitized and must be accessed from inside the library.
To access the 1807-1904 index from the library catalog, visit http://lycoming.polarislibrary.com/polaris and search by author for the Sun-Gazette, Williamsport Sun, or Gazette and Bulletin.
Don’t have time to research yourself? You can request an article. There is a flat research fee of $10 for 30 minutes of searching and requests can be made online at www.jvbrown.edu by filling out a Genealogy Research Request Form located under Services. The research fee must be prepaid and can be done via PayPal or by mailing a check to the library.
The library also has Federal Census Indexes for all of Pennsylvania from 1790-1860. Lycoming and other local counties are available after 1860.
The Pennsylvania Collection contains volumes on local, county and state history. The materials are available during regular library hours. The collection includes the Williamsport City Directories from 1867 to the present, as well as the yearbooks for Williamsport Area High School.
The Lycoming County digital photo archive is available through the State Library on POWER Library at http://www.powerlibrary.org. POWER Library also has digital collections from local newspapers, Pennsylvania history, and school and college history.
By searching the Digital Archives under Online Resources, users can view Lycoming County Photos and Images, the Lycoming County Women’s History Collection, a virtual memorial to 341 Lycoming County soldiers in World War II and the “Lest We Forget” online tribute to the 60 Lycoming County heroes of the Korean War.
These are just some of the many ways the library is helping to open new doors to lifelong learning and helping to preserve history. The library supports the PA Forward statewide initiative, which believes that when Pennsylvania residents improve their command of five types of literacy – basic, information, civic and social, health and financial – they can achieve greater success as students, parents, employees, consumers, as citizens. Libraries are community centers of information, technology and learning that will fuel educational and economic opportunity for all of our citizens.
The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at www.jvbrown.edu.