|Welcome to the Home Page of the Lansing Area African American Genealogical Society. LAAAGS was
founded in 2001 and is located in Lansing, Michigan. The purpose of LAAAGS is to promote the
preservation of African American family history for Lansing area residents and other interested persons.
|LAAAGS is gathering information on early Black families in Greater Lansing for a publication. To contribute
information to this publication you may call 517-882-1293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|This page was last updated May 2016
|Check out this page to see some interesting community highlights from Lansing's past!
click here Additional Highlights
|The 1940 Census is now available! The 1940 Census
was released April 2, 2012 by the National
Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in
digital form. To be able to access the 1940
Census go to: http://1940census.archives.gov.
|Reflections from the Fort Wayne Library Historical Trip - 2015
I had heard of the Allen County Library, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, for years. It sounded almost like a mythic place for anyone
interested in family history. Finally, on Saturday, June 13, 2015, I got to visit the famous Allen County Library (established in
1895) with the Lansing Area African American Genealogical Society. It was everything that I had heard and even more!
The beautiful 84 million dollar building (financed by a public bond) is one block by one block. Huge! It has rooms for kids,
technology, art, media, a genealogy center, and meeting rooms available for the public to use. It also has its own Dunkin' Donuts
where you can either buy food or bring your own and just relax there. On Saturday afternoons concerts by "four amateur bands"
are held in the outdoor courtyard. The Allen County Library is a lively, diverse, and welcoming place.
According to the site: http://familysearch.org, "The Allen County Library is the largest genealogy collection in a public library in
the United States." (People think of the Mormon holdings as the biggest. But their collection in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a private
collection. The Allen County Library is not only public but it's aggressive in getting its collections and information to anyone in the
world, for free or at a very small cost.)
The Allen County Library's holdings, "include more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items on microfilm and microfiche."
It has "more than 50,000 family histories, nearly 200,000 local histories" - from all over the United States, Canada, and beyond -
"a significant number of North Carolina records on microfilm, and numerous important collections. The Genealogy Center [at the
Allen County Library] also has significant resources for Native American and African American research." They have high school
and college yearbooks and church histories. And lots more!
If you're at all interested in your family's history, you would love the Allen County Library. They have more city directories than
the Library of Congress. Canadian family researchers are often referred to the Allen County Library by Canadian libraries
because of its extensive collection of Canadian documents and records. They accept high school yearbooks and personal family
histories from anyone who wants to contribute to their collection. (There's a process where they make two photo copies, put one
bound copy on their shelves, and return the original family history to the donor.)
They have lots of computers for which you need to have a library card. BUT, they give visitors a "temporary library card" that
gets you into their computers and into their system of state, national, and international online resources for free!
But the beautiful facilities and the fantastic people who run the Allen County Library make it even more special. It is THE most
user-friendly library I have ever been in. I love all libraries. However, the institutional adaptations and the attitudes of the staff
at the Allen County Library are amazing. "We're Dewey Decimal contrarians. If it doesn't make sense for us, we catalog and shelve
things the way our patrons would be looking for it." Their photo copies are only 10 cents, regardless of whether they are 8 1/2 by
11 inches or 11 by 17 inches. Their copy machines use a digital bar reader that works like swiping a credit card. They go out of
their way to help patrons. A reference librarian even carried my stack of books to my table for me when he saw that my hands
were full! Over and over in our brief four hour stay, the enthusiasm, good humor, and extensive knowledge of the Allen County
Library staff came shining through.
I can't recommend the Allen County Library highly enough.
The next meeting is Saturday, May 14, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be at the State Library and Historical
Center in the Lake Superior Room on the first floor. Final preparations will be made for the June historical trip to the
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI. The public is invited to attend!
|Scenes from the Allen County Public Library, June 2015