Online Library Catalog

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Tips for Using the DAR Library Catalog Online

When searching for information on the DAR Library's holdings in this catalog one must be aware of some specific search strategies and abbreviations:

Searching Place Names in the subject area

1. Type in the name of a county as: Otter Tail Co., Minnesota, not Otter Tail County, Minnesota.

2. Type in the name of a state or country completely. Do not use postal or other abbreviations.

3. In the DAR Library subject headings are arranged geographically with the place name appearing first and the actual subject following such as:

Beaverhead Co., Montana - History
Sunflower Co., Mississippi - Marriage records
Topeka, Kansas - Cemetery Records.
Idaho - Land Records
Mexico - Genealogy

4. To view all entries on a subject, you can perform a broad search by simply entering the major subject category such as:

African Americans
French in Illinois
War of 1812
Jones Family

or, to be more specific, add further subject information such as:

African Americans - Marriage records
French in Illinois - History
War of 1812 - Campaigns
Jones Family - Wisconsin

5. Entering the name of a state alone or a large subject such as "Revolution" will result in a huge number of hits. Narrowing your search at the beginning will help locate the information you seek quicker.

Searching for Information on Historical Periods in American History

1. Certain periods in American history, particularly wars, are searchable as subjects. These headings include "Colonial period," "Revolution," "War of 1812," "Spanish-American War," "World War I," and "World War II."

2. When searching with these headings it is best to pair the period with a state or locality for an efficient search, such as: "Georgia - Colonial Period;" "Maryland - War of 1812;" or "Richmond, Virginia - Civil War."

Searching Family Names

1. Search for many family names hidden in books on other surnames in the catalog by simply typing in the surname of interest in the subject box. The DAR Library cataloging staff makes extensive subject tracings to identify the major families mentioned in every family history or genealogy processed into the collection.

2. Consider searching various spellings of surnames not only for families but for authors of books. Wide variations in names appear in published materials and failure to consider all posibilities may lead to overlooked information.

Searching Authors and Titles of Books

1. Remember to consider variations in author names when searching.

2. References in other sources to book titles may not always be exactly as they appear on the book itself. Occasionally, only an author or subject search will enable you to identify the book you need because the title varies from your information.

3. You may type in just a few key words of a title to retrieve the record; the entire title does not need to be entered in most cases.

4. When typing a geographic name which appears in the title of a book (such as a county), type the entire name as it would likely appear in the title. This is the reverse of the tip about searching geographic names in the subject field: History of Morgan County, Ohio NOT History of Morgan Co., Ohio. Of course, it could appear either way on the book. Titles can be tricky.

Searching by Call Words

The DAR Library does not utilize either the Dewey Decimal or the Library of Congress Classification schemes. Rather, the collection is arranged by a term classification system that uses call words instead of call numbers. Books are arranged on the shelves in alphabetical order by line of the call word (lines are separated by " / ") within this system. Some typical call words are:

FAMILIES / DELANO / DELANO
GEN / EMIG / DUTCH / LUC
PENN / MILITARY / 1861-1865 / BAT
VA / COUNTIES / HENRICO / RICHMOND / DAB
 

Searching the Contents field

The DAR Library has initiated a project to add extensive contents notes for the Genealogical Records Committee books produced by individual chapters of the NSDAR. In many cases, the information transcribed in these books is unique and not found in any other published work. Records contained in the G.R.C. books include bible records, birth records, cemetery records, deeds and probate records to name but a few.

Users of the DAR Library Catalog may now search the contents field of individual records by using one of two options. The search strategies are:

1. Find [the term to be located in the contents field] as [Phrase] by [Word or Phrase]

2. Find [the term to be located in the contents field] as [Keyword] by [Word or Phrase].

Searching for Birth, Death, Will, or Other Vital Records

When searching for these types of records pair the main subject term, such as marriage, with the word "records" to create a DAR subject heading. "Marriages" will not retreive the desired cataloging records.

Instead of

Use

Marriages

Marriage Records

Births

Birth Records

Deaths

Death Records

Wills

Probate Records

Cemeteries

Cemetery Records

Divorces

Divorce Records

Naturalizations

Naturalization Records

 

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