Friday, June 22, 2012

Planning a Trip to The Nebraska Historical Society

Yesterday I had a successful trip to the Nebraska Historical Society, 15th & P in Lincoln, Nebraska inspite of very little time and being totally unprepared. I had only made one other trip to the Historical Society and that was a couple of years ago. There are several things you have to remember about going there plus I'm going to give you some hints on how to prepare beforehand for your trip.

  1. You cannot take large notebooks, or purses into the room. There are lockers, but they cost you a quarter to leave your things and get a key.
  2. You cannot take a pen into the room. There are plenty of pencils available for your use.
  3. You will have to sign in when you enter the room which is at the end of the hallway on your right.
  4. When you leave please leave a few dollars in the box to help keep this wonderful resource up and running.
Helpful Hints to Make the Best Use of Your Trip

  1. You will be using the 'Reference Room'. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10-4 BUT if you are new and think you might need help then don't go on Saturday. There are plenty of restaurants in the area but you can always take your lunch and go to your car for it's consumption.
  2. There are usually 2-3 people on staff helping you do research during the hours the room is open.  They used to close for an hour at noon but they did away with that recently.  Please don't be afraid to ask questions, they are there to help.
  3. You can take a laptop computer and a small notebook and/or a file folder to help you with your search.
  4. Copies are 15 cents to 50 cents so bring change for the machines.  I keep a coin purse for that purpose and make sure it is full. 
  5. You'll need money for parking meters also.  Time is 90 minutes per meter 75 cent plug.  Plugging the meter is frowned upon so you may have to move your car a few times so keep your keys and license in your pocket so you don't have to replug the locker with another quarter.
  6. Make a Plan - Perhaps you'll search Obits or look through newspapers.  Maybe you'll spend the day searching through the County and State history books for information.  What I do is make a list of the things I want to know about each family while I'm on the trip, type it up and put it in a file folder.
  7. Whether it's your first or fourth time at the Research Room don't be afraid to ask for a tour of the room so you get a feel of what kind of information is available.
On This Trip

  1. I found the last bit of information, with the source, for the application for my first "First Family" certificate (William & Nancy Hall) that will be mailed tomorrow.
  2. I knew that William's father Equilla was buried in some obscure cemetary in Richardson County.  Instead of looking all over the county in one cemetary and another I searched the county books, found him in the list and the cemetary he is buried in.  This weekend we'll go there on a picture taking trip.
All in all successful for a 60 minute search. That's all the time I had for the day.  I had to ask for help because the information in #1 was NOT in the County History book but an old Nebraska History Book.  I would not have known about the book unless I asked for help.  They are very used to helping genealogists.

My next trip in a few weeks will be an all day trip with a planned lunch with one of my daughters.

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