A Wonderful Genealogy Library – Midwest Genealogy Center
(Part of Mid-Continent Library System)
By Pat Johnson
What a delightful find – a library that is full of books, family histories, maps, city directories, periodicals, microfilm, microfiche plus a staff of knowledgeable and friendly genealogists. Near the end of my latest genealogy trip I took an extra day and stayed nearby, in Independence, Missouri to visit this library.
I have dealt with Mid-Continent Library in the past and I knew they had built an up to date genealogy center. I was pleasantly surprised to find this beautiful building, wonderfully landscaped with a huge parking lot for visitors.
However, it is the inside that is even more exciting. The entrance is so nice and peaceful and decorated so nicely it is a treat to come in and look around. Just like in Salt Lake City, you are greeted at the welcome counter by nice, knowledgeable and very welcoming staff. It is a beautiful start that promises much more for the visitor.
What you can find here? For one thing BOOKS. The shelves are full of them. I saw no signs of tearing them up to digitize them. This was my first impression. Personally, I still like to hold a book in my hands and thumb through the pages. Maybe it is a generational thing, but it is what I enjoy doing. The nice thing about this library is that if they have two copies of a genealogy book they will send one out on Inter Library Loan through the usual ILL process at your local library. This is rare for genealogy books.
What else will you find here? Over 6,000 maps; Over 2,500 periodicals; Seven book stacks of City Directories; The Draper Manuscripts; North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories; North American Women’s Letters, Diaries, Colonial to 1950; British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries; American Slavery: A Composite Autobiography over 4,000 interviews of former slaves; Colonial State Papers 16th to 18th century; Virginia Company Archives 1606-1624. Plus much more.
Go to http://www.mymcpl.org/genealogy to investigate this wonderful library and also access many free databases.
Location: 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence, MO 64055 816.252.7228 Open 7 days per week
What fun! You might want to skip visiting during tornado season though. Patj