Celebrating Family History & American Archives Months

The month of October allows the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center to celebrate its genealogical collections and its local history collections because it is both Family History Month and American Archives Month. Many archives, libraries, and museums celebrate these months to highlight their collections, their services, and more. The Special Collections staff would like to share a few resources that they have found useful for their work and research.

Cristina’s Picks

J. B. Hostetler Glass Negatives on Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive

One of the most visually appealing resource are our glass negatives. This collection was created in the Hostetler Studio in the early 20th century. It features portraiture of local residents, panoramic photographs of organizations, and more. We have digitized these negatives to make them accessible on the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive (UMVDIA). On the site, one will find a digital scan, a description, and more information about the image for your perusing and research pleasure!

City Directories on HeritageQuest Online

City Directories are always one our go-to resources. When you unable to go to a library to use these materials, there are options to view them online. One way Davenport Public Library patrons can access city directories is through HeritageQuest Online.

Karen’s Picks

Archival Research Guide from the Mina Rees Library, City University of New York

This is a helpful website for someone not too familiar with archives: https://libguides.gc.cuny.edu/archivalresearch/archives. It has compiled many resources and guides for novices and experts.

Resources in the Family!

During the upcoming holidays, with COVID-19 still present, families could use Facetime or Zoom to talk to family members about old pictures of family members past and present. Also, it is a great time encourage grandparents to talk about past family traditions and memories. Sharing these stories and histories now is even more important to help us stay connected!

Katie’s Picks

The Ament, Inc. Early Scott County, Iowa surveys and plats, Accession#2010-01  

The block- and lot-level survey plats of Davenport in this collection visually represent city properties described only in words in the Scott County deed books. These are useful for understanding a family’s acquisition of “Town Lots” for residences and businesses over time in relation to the growth of the city as a whole!  An example is LeClaire’s 7th Addition Subdivision.

Amy’s Picks

Annual Reports of the City Officers of the City of Davenport, Iowa. SC 352.0777 Dav

A great way to quickly look into local government history. You will find the names of city officials and committee members along with changes to local government over the years.

Cross-checking Tip!

Always cross-check obituary burial information when possible. We have found several instances in older obituaries of burial information not matching where the actual burial took place. You can cross-check bound copies of cemetery listings created by headstone readings and burial logs. Also, death records sometimes contain the cemetery.

Kathryn’s Picks

Angeline Petskeyes Personal Items, Accession #2006-03

In this collection, there are several dairies created by Davenport resident Angeline Petskeyes. They span the years 1943-1972. They provide a unique glimpse into her life and what life was like in Davenport during that time. Dairies are great examples of manuscripts and primary sources!

New England Genealogical Resources

In Special Collections, we have genealogical resources broken into geographical regions by the Dewey Decimal Classification we use for our call numbers. I would like to feature one section SC 974 about the New England or Northeastern, United States region. These books are great resource for those of us with ancestors from this region or are interested in its history. In addition, this year we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony.

Next time you are online or visiting Special Collections by appointment, make a point to check out these great resource to help celebrate Family History and American Archives Months!

(posted by Kathryn)

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