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Home > Researchers' Resources > Genealogy, Kansas Reference & Local History > Using the Materials in Our Collections

Using the Materials in Our Collections

  1. Use the Polaris computer catalog to find out what books the library has. You can also search the catalog from home. You may also find materials by browsing in the Genealogy and Kansas Reference stacks, or by talking with staff to help you.

  2. Wichita Public Library uses the Dewey Decimal call number system. However, census books, regardless of their call numbers, are arranged alphabetically by state across the top of the microfilm cabinets on the north wall. The newest issues of some periodicals are shelved on a rack beside the genealogy desk, and the older issues are on the genealogy shelves under their call numbers.

  3. Most census records are on microfilm, and the rolls owned by the library are listed in a group of notebooks at the librarian's desk. If you wish, you can call in advance to ask about the state, county or year of census you are interested in. Copies from microfilm or microfiche are 25 cents each.

  4. Microfilm rolls of Kansas newspapers that the library does not own may be interlibrary loaned from the Kansas State Historical Society. Also, patrons can rent microfilm from FamilySearch.org and have the films delivered to the library for viewing. The department has a digital microfilm reader/scanner to scan digital images to PDF or .jpg format and to save or email the images.

  5. Patrons researching Kansas ancestors should check both the Genealogy Collection and the Kansas Reference Collection.

  6. Some Genealogy, Kansas Reference or Local History books may not be photocopied due to their age and condition. Ask the librarian for permission to photocopy.

  7. All Genealogy, Kansas Reference or Local History Collection items are reference materials and do not circulate. Some duplicate items exist in the general circulating collections; check the computer catalog.

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Last update: 6/11/2014
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