Private Collections


Private libraries and archives are hardest to find and to gain access. Some of our finest collections were built by individuals and later donated to a library or archives. Some material in private hands does come up for sale on E-bay, such as Bibles that may contain family records, bundles of letters, diaries, and journals. You need to be diligent in checking to see when these materials come up for auction. Another way to find material in private collections is to contact the living relatives of our ancestors. You may make a contact with a cousin by placing a query on a genealogy website. You may also find the name, address, and phone number of relatives in telephone directories. 

Some databases are being created for material in private collections such as the National Genealogical Society’s Bible record project that invites private individuals to scan their Bible records (the title page of the Bible and pages with family records). These records are then posted on the NGS website and a copy can be ordered for a fee.

Help Me!  Suggest places where I might find Bible records.

Help Me!  Find living relatives for me.

Help Me!  Find others that I might contact who are researching my ancestors.

To ask these or similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.