Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday Treasure Chest of Books - In the Beginning...... & NOW

Editor's note: Today's post was written by  Sandra Gardner-Benward with plenty of help from our head Librarian
Sammie Hudgens

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Library since the beginning has gone through so much change and has grown and continues to grow.

Our library is now housed at the California State Archives, floor 4, 1020 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. We have been located here since the 1995. The lightrail stops right in front of the building at the Archives Square stop, making it easier to come down and do some research and go home without the hassle of driving and parking. [I get alot of knitting done- very relaxing]

In the beginning the society thought it would be a good idea to start a library, they had no idea what could or would happen. Our library was hauled to and from the general meetings in orange crates. The boxes were kept at John Bank's house and he carried them to the meetingsThe library was a lending library. We started with mostly "How to Books" which were checked out and returned at the next meeting. Wow, it grew quickly and the question was "how to fund this library and allow it to grow". We started off with small fund raisers and now we have our spring seminar that helps fund the library purchases. 

Finally the library grew so much that we needed to find a permanent place for all our books and periodicals - a place that is safe, and accessible.

We partnered with Genalogical Association of Sacramento (GAS). It was a 60-40 split of books.  Mary Pitts the librarian did most of the work.   

Arrangements were finalized with Casa Robles High School. Materials were placed in locked shelving in the Casa Robles High School Library. But materials were only available when volunteers were available to open shelving. This was a down side for us & wasn't working.

We next were able to move to the Sylvan Oaks Library, Citrus Heights, but unfortunately that arrangement didn't work out either. We moved to the Carmichael Public library in 1982 for a combined collection with GAS and the City/County Library in a small room. We painted the walls and bought shelves and were happy. We soon out grew that little room within a few years so we were allowed to expand into to the Genealogy Room.  We soon outgrew this room and the Library moved us to the main section of the library, this was not satisfactory to us.

We set out on a two year search to relocate our Collection. GAS decided to take up the offer from the Sacramento Public Library to house their books with them. 

Root Cellar SGS continued to search for a new home. Through the contacts of Joyce Buckland (an active member) that she had with the new building of the California State Archives she arranged for an interview with the State Archivist, John Burns. At this time they were located in Roseville California, northeast of Sacramento. Mr Burns  thought it would be a good idea to have a genealogy library located in the new building.  In February 1995 California State Archives and Root Cellar SGS moved into the new building for the CA State Archives, located at their current location at 1020 "O" Street, Sacramento. We have our own room on the fourth floor right off the main Research Room and we have been happy in this location ever since - 2 years short of 20 years. We have a great working relationship with the staff  & Archivist Nancy Leniol at the CA State Archives

We purchased a new copy machine for our genealogy room with money we raised selling candy.

The Collection now contains around 5000 books and periodicals from more than 200 other Genealogical Societies from the United States and Canada. We exchange periodicals with over 100 other societies. Periodicals are placed in binders and placed on the shelves for use. We have a large Ohio periodical collection. The collection also has available member donated surname cards, pedigree charts and other member submitted material such as the "Pioneer Certificate" materials. Our Collection contains a number of old county histories donated by members. Plus some city directores.

We are one of the few libraries in California to have the
             26 Volume plus index set of the Confederate Veterans Magazine
             60 Volume set of Germans to America1875-1888
             70 or more Volumes on the Revolutionary War
             17 volumes of the Mayflower Families
             39 Volume set of The Doomsday Books 
             California1890 Great Registers
We also have a copy of every book extracted and published by Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society - which is way over 30 and continuing.

Root Cellar SGS has received some remarkable donations mainly from members, alot have been incorporated into our library. Duplicates are offered to our members first and then to other genealogy groups.

The library collection grows each and every month with purchases and donations.
Now money is raised & budgeted to support the Library from raffles, seminars and donations.

Root Cellar SGS members are in the middle of a complete inventory. This is a lengthy process, with a learning curve on new software. When it is finished we expect to have a computerized catolog for our patrons use.

         What are all the special collections in our library?
Come back again or better yet sign up with your email and receive our blog posts in your email box  .......  I will be doing a review of some of the special items we have

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