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Friday, October 19, 2012

Rerun Friday - What's in your backyard? - The California State Library

"What's in your backyard? - 900 N Street, Sacramento, CA" was my original post about the California State Library posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010.

900 N Street, Sacramento, CA, is located about 9.2 miles from my front door. Sometimes you never fully realize what resources are located in your own "backyard" when it comes to genealogy. 900 N Street is the current location of the California State Library. It is across the street from the historical state library on Capitol Mall which is currently undergoing revonations until 2013.

For a somewhat temporary location, 900 N Street is pretty awesome and modern. Most of the library collection had existed in the "old library". 900 N Street houses, and has for quite a number of years housed, the California History Collection. The key with the California history portion of the library is that the collection is on site. The rest of the library is packed up in warehouses somewhere in West Sacramento during the main renovation.

I was amazed by a few things about this library. First and foremost, it is a good size and modern but the building is also occupied by the appellate courts. The lobby area is rather grand and looks like a modern museum. Parking downtown is rather dismal as usual but there are public parking garages nearby within walking distance. The "big deal" is that this place is free just like any other library.

The librarians are onsite to assist you but they do other research for the State of California at the same time. One catch to this place is that unless you are an employee of the State of California, you can't check out the books. The librarians indicated to me that the library is mainly for research. Apparently, people use this location for genealogy research but also writers come there to do their research.

My goal was to locate this library and find the book that contains the mini-bio from 1891 about M. Flanagan (Michael Flanagan). The copy that I have is becoming faded. I wanted a new copy plus the opportunity to see what this library has in store for my research. Within about 20 minutes of getting myself acclimated to this library, I found the book that I was looking for with much assistance from the librarians. The book was in the back marked "fragile". This book is over 100 years old. They allowed me to view it and make photocopies of a few pages.

While trying to locate this book, I looked in their card catalog. It is the real deal when it comes to card catalogs and not computerized as many card catalogs are these days. It is a piece of wood furniture with drawers, cards and all. I went to the drawer that had Flanagan in it. While looking for Michael Flanagan, I also found Joaquin Joseph Flanagan (Corning, CA) and Leo J. Flanagan (Burlingame, CA). I did not have time to fetch the books that contain information about the two of them but I know with some certainty that these two gentlemen are also my relatives.

My success in finding the book with Michael Flanagan included gave me hope in finding more information at that library. The librarian indicated that they also have a photo collection. There exists the possibility that the state may have photos of my relatives. I certainly need to check on my McLaughlin's in this library too. I definitely found Michael Flanagan.

I had limited time to spend at the library that day plus I had my two year old in tow. She was good for about the first 45 minutes and then it was time to get going out of there. My research is there for another day and when I am by myself!

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