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Manuscript


What is a manuscript and what kind of information can I find in it?

Manuscripts are usually unpublished family histories or collections of family papers. Depending on what the manuscript contains, you may be able to find all kinds of family information. Generally, you will find more than just names, birth dates, and death dates.

Where can I find manuscripts?

You can find manuscripts of all kinds in libraries throughout the United States. However, the difficulty lies in locating a manuscript that may be useful to you. The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections is a collection of twenty volumes and indexes that may help you find papers belonging to your family. Libraries, genealogical societies, and other archives periodically report their manuscript holdings to the creators of the National Union Catalog. You can look up the full name of your ancestor in the index, and then, through the catalogs, you can find out which library or archive has the manuscript you need. The National Union Catalog is available at many larger libraries.

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