This time the topic is making use of a valuable resource that is often overlooked: namely, the University of Maine at Orono Campus‘s Fogler Library.
The third weekend in September, Spike Savage and I went to the Maine State Genealogical Society meeting. We went down on Friday the day before for several reasons including driving during the daytime and to make various stops, one of which was to Orono to the library. I wanted to verify one my uncle’s place of birth and Spike wanted to look at obituaries from various newspapers. The library building house’s many different books and microfilmed material. There is a ton of information on many different topics in the collection. The staff is very friendly and helpful.
The library has updated microfilm machines that are easy to use and t view with. They have microfilm copies of early vital records for the State of Maine that include 1892 to 1955. You can get any births, marriages or death records that have been sent to the state office in Augusta for free at the library. For all other records, you must follow the state’s guidelines on and how to get vital records of a more current time frame. You still would have to go through the State Vital Records Office for a certified copy. For most genealogists getting a non-certified copy works for us and most people that we may be helping. These can also be obtained with a state researcher card. This also includes the older records described above.
For those of you who want to view old newspapers, many of the old newspapers throughout the state have been microfilmed. Not only can they be viewed you can also make copies for your own personal use. Fogler’s newspapers are often up to the current year. There are no time restrictions like the vital records, just as long as the paper has been microfilmed. An obituary can provide a lot more genealogical information.
The University of Maine at Machias and at Farmington also have the vital record microfilms. The University of Maine at Presque Isle also has the microfilms but their machine is not very good.
The biggest hassle you may encounter is finding a place to park. Orono has revamped their parking lot with new signs in various colors that restrict who can park where. Take the north entry to the campus, head toward the arena and the university bookstore. The book store is where you will get your parking pass. On the form, it will tell what type and color parking lot that you as a visitor can park.