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Resolved: Family History in 2017

So, did you make any New Year’s resolutions for 2017? “Take up a new hobby or activity” is a popular one, and with genealogy and family history consistently near the top of the list of most popular hobbies in America, it’s no surprise that our librarians see a surge of aspiring genealogists come looking for their Colorado roots each January.

Genealogy is not a primary focus of our research collections, but we do have a lot of great resources that can be important components of the family historian’s toolbox. Newspapers, census records, directories, local histories, family papers and photographs can all add crucial details to your family tree. Our library is often able to provide valuable information or context on a Colorado ancestor’s life through our wonderful archival materials.

If you’re just starting out on the genealogy trail, it’s a good idea to begin by learning a bit more about how to do genealogy. There are a number of good step-by-step guides available online (try these tips from Ancestry.com or “Family History for Beginners” from Familysearch.org), and you may also want to check with your local genealogical society for orientation sessions or classes on how the craft of genealogy works. The Colorado Genealogical Society offers a number of great classes, including a free, monthly Beginning Genealogy class at the central branch of the Denver Public Library.

Once you’ve learned how to think like a genealogist, it’s time to assess which questions you want to answer and what your resources are. This is where the Hart Research Library can help. Our librarians are available anytime during library open hours (Wednesday–Saturday, 10 am–3pm) or via email at cosearch@state.co.us to advise and guide you.

If you’d prefer a more hands-on orientation to the materials in our collection, we offer a series of classes to help jump-start your family history resolution. Please visit our Events page for upcoming classes and workshops.

Even if family history isn’t on your list of resolutions, a visit to the Hart Research Library is a rewarding experience for anyone interested in Colorado history or the life and times of Colorado communities and individuals. Feel free to contact our librarians at cosearch@state.co.us or visit us online to find out more.