ALE is a crowd-pleaser

The Librarians Best Database List of 2011 highlighted as Ancestry Library Edition as the "Patrons’ favorite." Just search on the term "Ancestry Library Edition" in the left column to find the other 22 entries I've written since April 2008 on this database. It is the most used database that the Beaufort County Library provides - and it has to be used inside our facilities, on our machines. In some ways, I find that an incredible statistic. Library Edition is purchased through a subscription from ProQuest. Although ALE doesn't provide all the resources or functionality in the individual subscription database, it still provides a whollop of genealogical resources and databases to a researcher's fingertips - for free and provides access to a historical newspapers database that can prove very fruitful to research. (Please note: You will have to pay for any copies you make. If you don't have a valid Beaufort County Library card, you may have to pay to use our computers).

ALE is the the library-oriented product that provides access to U.S., U.K., and Canadian census rec­ords from 1790 through 1930. Also readily searchable are immigration lists; European and North American birth, marriage, military, and parish records; and a raft of digitized documents and photographs. Barb Kundanis calls ALE the widely recognized “first stop” in genealogical research, citing the database’s billions of records as its principal strength.

We'll be offering introduction workshops on how to use Ancestry Library Edition within weeks of the completion of the index to the 1940 census. [The 1940 Census will be released on April 2, at 9:00 am. We'll be hosting some workshops in mid-May.] Our ALE workshops are free and open to anyone over age 12 interested in using ALE to uncover their roots. Stay tuned for details.

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.