Monday, March 21, 2011


For your convenience - a brief tour on paper.

The following article was prepared for the NSGS Newsletter by LaRene Spencer, Co-Director at the RFHC.

{Editor: Italicized text was added by this editor-Jim Kattelman. As you should detect by my comments, I am very enthusiastic about the resources available at the RFHC. I encourage all NSGS Members to take some time to explore what genealogy information you might easily gather at the RFHC. Ask for help if you are not sure how the systems work or what is contained in the collections. Personal lessons can be arranged ! The items illustrated here are the physical resources. Next month will feature the free Internet resources available at the RFHC.}

As you enter the Center, you will see our Reference Area. You will see a computer just inside the front door by the sign-in table that contains the entire Reno Family History Center Catalog—books, CDs, microfilm and microfiche. {This computer is your guide to the RFHC - get to know how is works !} 

Books on rolling carts in the foyer contain information dealing with the “how” and the “where” to look for records that will assist you in your family history research.  You will also find dictionaries (including some foreign language dictionaries), gazetteers,atlases/maps, etc.  Also included here are sets of books dealing with emigration and immigration, e.g. The Complete Book of Emigrants (England), Wuerttemberg Emigration Index (Germany), Directory of Scottish Settlers, The Famine Immigrants (Ireland), German Immigrants, The Great Migration Begins (immigration to New England 1620-1633) and The Great Migration (immigration to New England 1634-1635).

Approximately 5000 books will be found in three book rooms:

Washoe Book Room, the last room down the hall on the right, contains the entire genealogical collection of the Washoe County Library system. {If you are studying Colonial or Civil War America, check out the D.A.R. or Civil War collections. The D.A.R. records contain thousands of names that have already been researched. The Civil War collection is practically a day-by-day chronicle of the war. If your ancestor was in the Civil War, find their unit and follow the action. Also, the 29 volume set, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, by Filby and Meyers will surely contain information on some of your ancestors. Ask for help, some of the book sets are difficult to use.}

Reno Book Room, (there are two rooms treated as one):

Down the hall on the right – contains only Biographies & Family Histories. {Books written by family members.}

Down the hall on the left – contains all other books owned by the Center. {A lot of state reference material.} 

More than 500 CDs containing genealogical records are stored in the front office for use by patrons.  They are only accessible on the computer in that office. {Many of these CDs will give you glues regarding the collections that are included in the website.}

In the last room down the hall on the left, you will find approximately 4,000 microfilms that are here on Indefinite Loan from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Several thousand microfiche are also found in that room, and the information contained there is also varied. {My favorite ! Since I have many microforms of German Parish Registers and Virginia Colonial Records on Indefinite Loan, I use these resources frequently. Take advantage of all the film that other researchers have ordered - it won’t cost you a dime ! Look up these films on the computer in the reference area. This is a great training ground to learn about various places and their related records} 

Of interest to patrons researching records from Nevada and parts of Northern California is our Parkin Collection.  It will be found in the room holding the microfilm/microfiche collections.  The data was collected by Nona Parkin over a period of approximately twenty years. The collection is organized by state and county, and filed in the cabinets alphabetically—ignoring Dewey numbers.  The collection consists of one hundred three- ring binders. {Early Nevada, from territory into the 1900s, is detailed in this amazing work of one person.}

There are seven computers available for patron use - 5 in our Computer Room and 2 in our Washoe Book Room.

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