Genealogical Society of Linn County, Iowa
813 1st Avenue S.E.
PO Box 175
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-0175
This is another example of not knowing what you are going to find! When we entered the door of the Masonic Library (see previous post) we noticed a sign directing us to the lower level for the genealogical society. What? I had NO idea the local genealogical society collection was in this building! So, after our tour of the Masonic Library, we headed downstairs.
This is a gem, hidden in plain sight! Why I had not tried to locate the local genealogical society is beyond me, but obviously I was supposed to find it.
Jeanette Haars, the president, was on volunteer duty this day. What a lovely lady, and she is so proud of their collection. She took me through the library and even showed me their spacious, hidden workroom. What a lucky group to have such a facility. Recently I met Bonnie Dodge, the librarian for this society, at the Iowa Genealogical Society Spring Conference, and she told me that the society pays a nice sum as monthly rental for the facility; so there are trade offs, spacious area for a fee.
This society was organized in 1965 and will be celebrating their special 50-year-anniversary
on May 2!
The collection here exemplifies fifty years of hard work and dedication! And, their Internet presence exemplifies their intention to continue for many years to come. In addition to the partial listing on their website, I am listing some of the other items I saw that genealogists might find helpful:
Funeral home records
Cedar Rapids churches
Cedar Rapids schools & country schools
High school and college yearbooks
Histories of Linn County towns
Approximately 90 linear feet of family histories
Many books for other states and other countries
Most genealogy facilities are experiencing the need to update microfilm readers/printers as the ones we’ve used forever have become obsolete; parts are no longer available. My husband and I were impressed with theST View Scan II film reader we saw here. This society was able to purchase this expensive machine as a 50-50 fundraiser: one-half with grant money and one-half with member contributions. My husband was so impressed with the machine that he has contacted the company for more information.
Congratulations to the Genealogical Society of Linn County on where you have been and where you are headed!