By Angie Georgeff
If you love genealogy and local history as much as I do–and I know I’m not alone—you know how thrilling it is to find the census record, deed, will or obituary that has the information you’ve been seeking. You can’t wait to copy it and add it to your collection. If you’re not able to copy or print the document, it can be a major disappointment. Or a major pain, if you have to transcribe it! If you’re a genuine optimist, you may consider it experiencing life as your ancestors lived it.
Our library is blessed with a large collection of court records and local newspapers on microfilm.Local history buffs and a significant number of visitors from other states come here to view our microfilm. They scan the film for minutes or hours or even for days following a trail of crumbs they hope will lead to the information that lured them here. They are thrilled when they stumble across it, but unfortunately, they cannot print out or email the precious documents they have found. Sometimes they are able to photograph the article with their smartphones, but that seldom results in a good quality image. The best I can offer is the email address of athe Tennessee State Library and Archives. They can make a copy from their microfilm and email it to the patron, but that involves time and expense.
If microfilm reader/printers were inexpensive, we’d already have one. They aren’t, but a generous gift has given us a substantial start on a fund toward the purchase of one. Those who use them are well aware of their value, but even those who don’t have to admit they are necessary equipment for any library in an area that welcomes genealogy tourism. People are more than willing to travel in search of their roots. And when they travel, they stay at hotels, eat at restaurants, buy gasoline, visit local attractions and patronize local stores. For the benefit of our patrons and the good of our community, we intend to do all we can to raise the remainder of the cost and get a reader/printer for the library. If you would like to help, we would welcome a donation in any amount. Thank you!
Happy news! State funds for library materials have been released, and we already have placed the first order. This purchase includes many of the books you have requested, so we will notify you when those books have been received, cataloged and processed. Now is the time to let us know which books you want to read! These funds have to be spent on in-stock titles by the middle of April, or they will disappear like Cinderella’s coach. Of course, we would never let that happen, but if you wait too long, your opportunity to suggest books for this round of funding will expire. The clock is ticking, so let us know what is on your wish list.