Learn how to use library and archive websites to locate offline records on repository shelves.
Not all genealogy content is digitized and accessible online—and despite our best efforts, it probably never will be. Why? Copyright restrictions. Privacy and access policies. Lack of funds, workers, expertise or interest. Many essential genealogy resources remain “buried” indefinitely in libraries and archives: original manuscripts, compiled research and obscure or out-of-print publications. These fantastic, often one-of-a-kind sources may be key to unlocking family mysteries—but you can get to them only by taking a trip, using interlibrary loan or hiring a local researcher.
But you have to find them first. And that’s where your internet sleuthing skills remain valuable. Even if a resource doesn’t live online, you still can track it down online. This guide shows you how.