Basic Guide to the GFO Library
The books are organized by a modified Dewey system. Be sure to scan the shelves for all items in a general category, for example, 973 A000 Census.
Adjacent to the front desk is the Rare Book Area comprised of:
- A Ready Reference section, which contains selected basic reference books, mainly for U.S. research.
- Oregon Masonic publications, 1854–1998.
- Two binders for newsletter exchanges (West Coast societies; and all other societies).
- Multnomah County marriage records (License Index 1874–1978, Marriage Records 1855–1924).
- Oregon Death Certificates 1903–1905.
- DAR abstracts.
- Miscellaneous rare books.
- Lost and Found.
Adjacent to the Rare Book Area is a file cabinet housing NGS, FGS and miscellaneous audio tapes of conference presentations. The accompanying lecture outlines for many of them are found at R371 A425 - R371 N547.
Behind the Rare Book Area are several index card file cabinets, and in some cases accompanying binders related to the indexes:
- Spulniak index cards: Mrs. Frank (Joanne) Grider Spulniak was a genealogical researcher. Individual index cards are for individuals, arranged alphabetically. Box reference is obsolete, but see Spulniak manuscript files, (in the Multi-Purpose Area in the back of the library) also arranged alphabetically.
- Member Pedigree Charts: A name card file which is an index to pedigree charts in blue binders.
- Canadian Interest Group: Index cards for individuals, arranged alphabetically. The index cards don't seem to have any relationship to the member charts for Canada found in the black binders.
- Early Settlers who resided in Oregon before 1900: A name card file which is an index to pedigree charts in red binders. Names submitted by GFO members.
- Spencer Leonard Collection: A card file of Civil War veterans from any state who resided in or visited Oregon.
- Surnames: A card file to names in un-indexed family histories found in the 929.2 section.
- Misc. Barnett Notes: Index cards which probably refer to two file drawers labeled Barnett in the manuscript section. See also James Duff Barnett, Descendants of William Barnett 1679–1762, 929.2 B2613.
The Book Collection is comprised largely of donated volumes. Check the online catalog and scan the shelves. You may be pleasantly surprised at what we have. A general guide follows:
|200.+||Religion & General Subjects, e.g. Afro-American, Adoption, General Migration, Legal.|
|355.+||Societies: Clubs, Military, Heritage, Lineage, Fraternal.|
|370.+||General Subjects: Greek Letter Organizations, Transcription, Sociology, Cemeteries & Death, Family Reunions, Folklore, Encyclopedias, Handwriting, Dictionaries, Surveying, Calendars & Dates, Genetics, Organization, Interviewing, Society Management, Architecture, Photography, Travel, Atlases, Biography, Professional Genealogy.|
|929.2||Family Genealogies, arranged alphabetically by primary surname.|
|929.3||Group Genealogies: catalogs, compendiums, directories, indexes, queries, research directories, names.|
|929.6||Heraldry, Royal Genealogies, Coats of Arms, Flags.|
|930.+||Organized by global geographic region, then country, then local region (state, province, etc.) Be sure to check the geographical area guide posted on the pillars/walls. Note: not all regional categories make sense, For example, under the region (Mountain/US) are Kansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota.|
|979 A000||General West, Northwest, and Oregon Trail.|
Oversized books: Found at the rear of the regional geographic stacks. One cabinet contains only family histories, the other has general and regional books.
Oversized Atlases: Found in a separate bookcase on the brick pillar, between AR and TN. Separate map sheets are found in a map cabinet in the Multi-Purpose Area in the back of the library.
Northwest Schools Collection: Comprised primarily of yearbooks, contains all books relating to schools found in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, and is found in the main aisle leading to the Multi-Purpose Area in the back of the library.
Pacific Northwest and miscellaneous Directories & Oregon Phone Books are on the north wall.
CDs are on the north wall. See “CD Title” and “CD Title: Alphabetical Lists”. Use the appropriate program and use the computer labeled “View CDs on this computer.”
Microfilm: Most is on the west wall, adjacent to the IN & OH volumes section. A collection of miscellaneous films includes Canadian topics (quite limited) and U.S topics (especially strong in Native American and military subjects, and then a limited collection on US states.)
Multi-Purpose Area in the back of the library:
- Most of our Oregon microfilms.
- Oregon Cemetery records: Two collections, each filed by county, then by cemetery.
- Regional Vertical files: Miscellaneous pamphlets, unbound materials, loose papers, etc., organized by state, then subject.
- Surname Vertical files: Miscellaneous pamphlets, unbound materials, loose papers, etc., organized alphabetically by surname.
- Manuscript Files, variously organized. Please ask for assistance.
Lionberger, Spulniak, Wise, Corbitt, Murray, Hayes, Koch, Barhous, Cox, Gurley, Hiday, Hobbs, Baliki, Larua Kamby Park, Buckman, Sibley, Tyron, Griffin, Gehrke, Hill, Cook, Woolridge, Walker, McCallment, Biggs, McCarthy, Crawford, Lipson, Metcalf, Horton, Barnett, Atterbury, Harmon, Syaboda, Ready.
- Microfiche cabinet:
- Miscellaneous general and state-related microfiche, arranged by state and then, in some cases, by sub-area.
- Boston Transcripts. The index to these newspaper columns is not available at GFO, but can be accessed at Multnomah County Central Library.
- Library Association of Portland Newspaper index.
- Bureau of Land Management Field Notes and Surveyor Notes.
- BLM Oregon Land Claims (OLC), Township Claims.
- BLM Southwest Washington Surveyor Field Notes.
- Check in at the reception desk.
- Use only pencils.
- No food or drink consumption in the Library; meeting and event exceptions with prior permission from the Board or the Board designee.
- Speak softly. Take conversations to the Common Area outside library doors.
- Cell phones on silent; conduct phone conversations in the Common Area.
- Do not mark Library materials; remove papers and bookmarks.
- Allow library volunteers to reshelve books.
- Library computers only for genealogy research.
- GFO is not responsible for lost items.
- Laptop computers, scanners, and cameras are allowed.