Vacation can take people to all kinds of new and interesting places.
Some people have a goal of visiting all 50 states and try to visit a new one each year or two. Some people have a bucket list of baseball stadiums they want to see or national parks they want to visit. I even know someone who loves to visit historic libraries that were built by Andrew Carnegie, and he goes to see them all across the country.
Some people are “genealogy tourists,” and they visit locations where they can conduct family research. They may visit cemeteries of their ancestors and make rubbings of headstones. They may drive hundreds of miles to scroll through microfilm at a small-town newspaper. They may also visit a library to pore over city directories, yearbooks and other archives.
The Norfolk Public Library often welcomes these traveling family researchers. Genealogists from as far away as Washington and Arizona have looked through the library’s materials, scouring for birth announcements, addresses and obituaries to complete their family trees.
Several years ago, the library worked with the Norfolk Daily News to get all the newspaper’s archives into a digital format that was easily searchable. The new digital archive was available in the library and greatly reduced searching time. Instead of scrolling through rolls of microfilm, the researcher simply had to type…
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