New Online Library Catalog

MHGS has switched to a new library catalog that offers online access for everyone. To search the catalog, select the Library option in the left side menu, and follow the link to Search our library catalog.

When you arrive at the catalog (which in the library world is called an OPAC, for Online Public Access Catalog), you will see a search box at the top and a set of login boxes at the right. We haven’t set up membership logins yet, so ignore that part. You don’t need to log in to search the catalog.

The search box at the top of the main page, and most other pages, is a keyword search, which means that the catalog will look for your search words in the title, author and subject headings of each entry. Most of the time, that’s really all you need. There are a few times when you might need more control, in which case the Advanced Search menu gives you a lot more precision. You might use this if you’re looking for Smith County and don’t want to wade through all the books authored by Smiths; you could use the Advanced Search menu to look for Smith in titles and subjects but not authors. You don’t need to worry about capitalization.

Remember to run searches for your surnames of interest as well as geographic locations, but not all in one search. To see if we might have relevant items for your Jacksons in Reno County, KS, you should run one search for Jackson, which would find books about the Jackson family, some of which might mention Reno County, and another search for Kansas Reno County which would find books about marriage records or cemeteries in Reno County that might mention Jacksons. If you search for Jackson Kansas Reno County, you’re asking to see just the books in which the Jacksons and Reno County are both featured prominently enough to be in the title or subject headings – and while we do have some books like that, they’re in the minority.

McCormick School Museum Tour

We had a very interesting tour of the McCormick School Museum this morning.  We were a small group, so we got to poke into every corner of the museum and archive celebrating everything about Wichita’s public school history.

Welcome!

As you can see, we’ve gone live with our new web design!  We hope you like it — we think it’s going to be a great site once we’ve gotten all moved in.

Some of the old data is still being cleaned up and moved over;  most of it will be moved to the Online Resources section.  A few hints about finding things: Continue reading

White Chapel Documentation Project

MHGS WhiteChapPhotoProject 1 2 300x224 White Chapel Documentation Project
Photographing White Chapel Cemetery

Cemeteries.  There’s hardly anything a genealogist likes better, is there?  Cemetery documentation, either on paper or on the web, is among the most frequently consulted resources genealogists use.  There’s been a lot of great work done in Sedgwick County to document our cemeteries, and everyone doing research in the county is grateful!

But it’s not done.  Cemeteries are constantly growing, so indexes are out of date the day after they’re printed.  Websites like Find-A-Grave and BillionGraves are leading people to expect photographs as well as indexes.

We thought it might be fun to get involved as a society in the effort to document our Sedgwick County cemeteries online.  For our first cemetery documentation project, we’ve chosen to work on White Chapel Cemetery, at Oliver and 17th street, using the BillionGraves website. Continue reading