Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center
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Yesterday, June 25, 2007, I attended a tour of the Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center hosted by Dennis Northcutt. I was disappointed to see only three couples show up for this. I had expected a standing room only kind of crowd. I personally had not used this facility all that much, and I was interested to find out what I'd been missing.
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I was also disappointed that my "Genealgy in St. Louis" website didn't make Dennis' list of 16 websites mentioned on his "Some of my favorite genealogy websites" handout. As his tour went along I was even more disappointed that he apparently has never visited my website, based on his many comments of things the MHS Library was planning on doing (that already appear on the "Genealogy in St. Louis" sites). A few examples:
Yearbooks - Apparently the Library has quite a collection of St. Louis Public School yearbooks. I was not aware of this, as was the fact that he is apparently not aware of the 69 Senior Classes listed with 13,168 names transcribed on my website (I'm sure he would have mentioned it if he knew). He made specific reference numerous times to a school most St. Louis researchers have never heard of - Hosmer School. I had included this school almost a year ago, along with a photo of the school, and the senior roster of 1930.
There were a number of things Dennis mentioned that I was not aware of in their collection, namely
Books on St. Louisians Biographies - Dennis mentioned both Steven's "Fourth City" and Leonard's "Book of St. Louis1ans" as good sources of details on these families. I published an all-name database (not just an Index) of Steven's work almost two years ago. Leonard's book I just completed and placed the index on my website. Dennis alluded to the fact that Steven's work was apparently on the MHS Library website, but I could not find it anywhere.
1878 St. Louis Atlas - This is the work that I headed up for the StLGS over ten years ago, and have the only correct index published on my website. Of course the StLGS has never seen my website either, and therefore they still maintain the flawed index.
Card Catalogs (that include Businesses, Music, Fraternal Organizations. and a whole lot more)
Indexed St. Louis Police Department publication from 1902 and 1910 (I didn't see these even at the Archives of the St. Louis Police Department)
Photos and Prints (that might very well be the only place to find some of these)
Actual copies of St. Louis City and County Directories (like the St. Louis Public Library used to allow access to). Unfortunately, you still can't copy them.
"Pageant and Mask" documents
St. Louis Military Records (that might very well be a one-of-a-kind collection)
Tax Registers for St. Louis County (filled with interesting info)
Collection of Letterheads of St. Louis businesses
Maps and Atlas
Overall, this is a very nice repository of St. Louis history and genealogy. BTW, you can bring your laptop, but just about nothing else - not even purses. And forget about digital cameras. But copies of items are very inexpensive.
One last thing. Dennis mentioned a number of times that there is real data on their website. I looked, and couldn't find a single online database anywhere. Please take a look at the Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center , and send me the exact URLs so I can post the link on the "Genealogy in St. Louis" website