VBRGS, organized in 1987, is a regional genealogical & local history interest group with a focus on the counties of Southwest Michigan including Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren.
Although the society's books and those of the library have been housed together in the Local History Collection in Decatur, up until now both had maintained separate ownership and cataloging.
VBRGS executive board spokesmen indicated that there were several reasons for this gift.
- All item records will now be accessible through one online catalog (www.vbdl.org), allowing search by title, author, subject and keyword.
- Items added to the library catalog are also automatically added to the Michigan Electronic Library Online Catalog (MELCAT), where similar searches may be made on a statewide level.
- The books will be under the protection and care of the library system allowing for continuity in acquisitions, maintenance, and oversight.
- New England
- Western Europe
- General Reference & Guides
"The Van Buren District Library is very pleased to have received this wonderful collection," says Debby Stassek, the library's Assistant Director, "and we will be working the next several months to add them all into our catalog at vbdl.org."
One of the biggest perks of this merger is the availability of online cataloging in one place. Many of the items within the Local History Collection are rare or one-of-a-kind, and although it may not be possible to request one of these items on inter-library loan, a search on MELCAT will point to you to the facility that houses that item, allowing follow-up with that library.
When was the last time you made a genealogical-related search for something in an online catalog? Have you searched by subject using the hometown of interest? Or, have you simply tried searching the Keyword option for some of your less common surnames? New records are being added to MELCAT on a regular basis, so be sure to make this site part of your online research checklist.
The merger of the VBRGS book collection with that of the library will be concluded in the coming months. In the meantime, all items remain accessible for viewing within the Local History department. For any questions about the merger or the collection in general, contact the Local History Librarian.
Nameless Picture of the Day
real photo postcard, postmarked October 1910, Covert
addressed to Mrs. William Young of Canton, Ohio, from "Aunt Minnie"
Can you identify the location of this two-story frame residence located in Covert? Please contact us if you any information and we will publish it in a future blog. Please include the photo's catalog number with your e-mail.