Building a Locality Guide: Repositories

Let’s discuss repositories in our Locality Guides. There are usually more than one that applies to a given geographical location, and often several. Adding this to your locality guide can help you plan research trips whether you go in person or work with an archivist or agent over the phone or email.

One section of my guide looks like this:

Example from my Wood County, Ohio locality guide.

I have sub-sections for courthouses, universities, local public libraries, genealogical and historical societies, local and regional museums, archival collections, and anything else that has a research facility that applies. In each, I include the name of the facility, their location, hours, contact information (including an email address if available), their website, a link directly to their catalog if applicable, and a short description of their holdings as it applies to my research and interests.

I’d like to share a tip for finding those repositories that you may have missed. I use Google Maps’s “nearby” function to find libraries, archives, universities, and museums in and nearby a town I am interested in. If you go to Google Maps, you typically put in a town or an address and click search. Then your location is shown on the map. If you look down on the right, there is a button labeled “nearby.”

Google Maps “Nearby” Button

Then you can type in “library” or “university” or any other search term (think hotel or restaurant if you are traveling).

Searching nearby for “library”

Next time, we are going to wrap up the series with a miscellany of items and tips that I use in my locality guides.

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