Using the Society of Genealogists Library

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21 April 2018
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Improve your family history research skills with a visit to the Society of Genealogists in London

The Society of Genealogists (SoG) Library which ranges over four floors at the premises in Clerkenwell is the largest genealogical library in the UK. Its remarkable collections of genealogical resources and research notes have been assembled since the SoG was first founded in 1911.

There is no one search that tells you everything that is in the library, and certainly not all that the Library has is online, but useful preparatory searches can be made using  the Search our Records Pages of the Society’s website 

Here you can search the library catalogue that lists all the books, CDs and Microforms that the SoG holds and while you can do more sophisticated searches, the default browse by subject catalogue search means you can identify what exists for the places where your ancestors lived and also if there are any published or printed family histories relating to your surname. The SoG is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library which means you can also use the FamilySearch catalogue to identify FamilySearch films and digital images which can be used and viewed in the Society’s Library.

Surname lookup lists are on the SoG website to see if there are manuscript research notes and pedigrees for the families you are interested in, but you will have to come to the library to use the more detailed collections lists and card indexes to make best use of the research notes and special collections. The digital SoG data online allows SoG members exclusive  web access to some of the Society’s unique collections and databases but non -members can do a free name search online to see what digital collections might be of interest. A list of all the online collections and resources can be seen on the SoG website here

In addition to the exciting digital data from the library collections the website now has an enhanced members’ Learning Zone with online courses, research aids, record guides and tips. Members can also join the dedicated themed forum for further education matters, discussion, help and advice.

Free one to one family history internet sessions can be booked in the library in addition to the existing library tours and one to one genealogy advice sessions. See website for information and booking

The Society of Genealogists can be found at 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA . Information on opening hours and visiting the library are on the SoG website

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