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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Yes, Library Cards Can Be Genealogical Documents!

As we've moved into the digital age, library cards have become a thing of the past. Someone asked me just the other day if a library card could be considered a genealogical document and I said, "Why, of course! If it has a name, date, & place on it, then I would consider it a genealogical document." Just think of all the library card treasures that could still be floating around out there! Please rescue them for future genealogists.


For example, a girlfriend gave me a book out of her homeschool library her children had read, because I am studying about steamboats on the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. She must have picked it up at a book sale somewhere as it was stamped with the name of the former repository -- Saint Augustine School, which has since closed.



Although there are no family members of mine or my husband's on the library card below, I have transcribed the names and dates for a future generation to find. The stamp inside the book cover has given the school's name and address and the little card inside the library card pocket has given clues to a child's name, when the child attended school there, what they were interested in at the time, and what classroom they were in.

Due Date -- Borrower's Name -- Room Number
5-22-1966 -- Mike McMurray -- 205
1-19-1968 -- Joe Davis -- 206
11-25-1968 -- Tom Turner -- 205
2-5-1969 -- Marie Brancato -- 206
10-27-1971 -- Mark Seilold -- 205
no date -- Shahon -- no room
Library Card for: Frontiers of America Series: Steamboats to the West. By Edith McCall. Children's Press, USA., 1959.
Repository: Saint Augustine School, 1800 East 79th St, Kansas City, Missouri.

Update (9-21-2016): This library card has been added to the Jackson County, MO USGenWeb site and approved here! My very first contribution!

More to Read:
1. I have found many of the riverboat pilots mentioned in the book on Findagrave and added them to a virtual cemetery here. I eventually hope to find information about a ferry and/or other boats my 3rd great-grandfather may have traveled on.
2. "Finale: St. Augustine's, KCMO" By Curmudgeon. Blog post.