Birmingham Public Library Named One of Top 10 Libraries for Genealogy Research

The Birmingham Public Library has been named by Family Tree Magazine as one of the top 10 libraries in the nation for genealogy research. 

Family Tree Magazine, an arm of Dublin, New Hampshire-based Yankee Publishing, said the following about BPL: 

Birmingham Public Library

The Southern History Department at the Birmingham Public library is a boon to genealogists researching Southern ancestors, especially those in Birmingham, Jefferson County, and Alabama. Vital records, U.S. Census of Population schedules, passenger lists and city directories are just a few of the record types available. Other resources include the Caribbean Collection, the BPL Cartography Collection, and the Rare Book Collection of early Americana.

Mary Beth Newbill, department head of BPL's Southern History Department, said, "Being included in this list of very impressive genealogy libraries is a great honor. We're thrilled that BPL was recognized for its strong genealogy collection and hope researchers continue to take advantage of all of our resources."     

The recognition comes as BPL is hosting three genealogy programs as part of its 2021 Black History Month Celebration. The first, Intro to Genealogy, took place on February 3. 

 The others are as follows:

African American Genealogy Resources: Websites, Database, and Webinars, Wednesday, February 17, 10-11 a.m. Click here to register for the Zoom event 

Online: Good, Bad, and Ugly: Accessing and Assessing the WPA Slave Narratives, Wednesday, February 24, 10-11 a.m. 

Click here to register for this Zoom online event 

 Here is a link to the story -  Below is the full article in text: 

In the day of online repositories, it’s tempting to skip the library research, but when we do, we’re selling our ancestors – and our research – short. Libraries are vital resources for family history researchers, and contain a lot of valuable information not available online, or in private collections. 

Local libraries often provide everything from online access (including subscriptions to and other online databases) to areas chock full of local history resources. Many public libraries now have dedicated genealogy or local history collections, making them an essential destination for every roots researcher. 

There you’ll find not only books, but also rare manuscripts, genealogical journals and census records all full of valuable information you won’t find online. And, when going to the library, researchers can take advantage of access to librarians with years of training in research methods and various subjects.

But which other public libraries should you try hardest to work into your travel plans? To find out, we evaluated libraries across the country and weighed factors such as collection size, census records, special collections, accessibility, geographic coverage, and services. 

 Here are the top libraries for genealogy research in the US:

 • Allen County Public Library 

• Family History Library (FHL) 

• Mid-Continent Public Library

 • Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research 

• Birmingham Public Library

 • Denver Public Library 

• New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Library 

• Detroit Public Library 

• Library of Congress

 • Dallas Public Library 

• Los Angeles Public Library 

• National DAR Library 

• The New York Public Library (NYPL) 

• Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library