Genealogy – Prologue

Prologue magazine is a quarterly publication of the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA).  Along with the many historical events covered in the publication, there is a monthly feature called Genealogy Notes in every issue.  Genealogy Notes was published for the first time in the summer of 1989 and has covered many topics over the years.

I have listed some sample article titles from recent Genealogy Notes below.

v.45: no. 3/4 2013 – Ancestors from the West Indies: A Historical and Genealogical Overview of Afro-Caribbean Immigration, 1900-1930s

v.45: no. 2 2013- “We’re still alive today” A captured Japanese Diary from the Pacific Theater

v.43: no. 3 2011 – Leaving the Army During Mr. Madison’s War: Certificates of Discharge for the War of 1812

v. 42: no. 2 2010 – 68,937 and Counting: Searching Inmate Case Files from the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.

Some articles may be read online or the print issues are available in the Government Documents Department at Forsyth Library. There is also at least a partial online index to the online Genealogy Notes available.


ACLS Humanities E-Book


Quite often as I read fiction I will come across mention of historical events.  Sometimes I am given enough information to satisfy me and sometimes I want more information.  I also think some of the subjects I come across would make great subjects for research papers.

I have wanted to know more about the Crystal Palace for some time.  I had enough information to know it was a major event in London in the mid 1800’s and that technology was involved.  I know… I can do a google search and come up with all kinds of information, but I wondered if I could search Crystal Palace in the ACLS Humanities E-Book collection and get results for a book that could be cited in a paper.  So my first result when searching ACLC for Crystal Palace was a book titled “The Shows of London” by Richard Daniel Altick.  Crystal Palace was mentioned in the table of contents and led to a chapter on my topic.  The official name of the exhibit in the Crystal Palace turned out to be The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations.  The second result, Technology in Western Civilization, by Kranzberg & Purcell didn’t list Crystal Palace in the table of contents, but it was listed in the index.  I was interested in the technology at the Crystal Palace, but I was also fascinated by the building itself.  I wouldn’t have thought a building could be made of 22 acres of glass in 1851.  I have to admit I am now wondering if they had to pay the glass tax.  Or was that the window tax?

I can’t guarantee you will have the results I had when you do your own search.  However, this is a resource worth investigating. image from Library of Congress


You Mean There’s Something Better Than Wikipedia?? Part 3

Another scholarly source of online reference books is a database called Oxford Reference Online.  It is available on our library website by clicking “Find Books” under the “Research” tab on the right side of the screen.  Next, click “Oxford Reference Online” on the following screen.  Key in a search term to find information on your topic or click “Subjects & Books” which will shows titles of reference books for a variety of subjects.  Like Credo Reference, citation information will be provided at the end of each entry.

 The following subjects and number of books available for that subject are now available in Oxford Reference Online: Art & Architecture (10); Bilingual Dictionaries (18); Biological Sciences (12); Classics (6); Computing (3); Earth & Environmental Sciences (9); Economics & Business (9); Encyclopedias (2); English Dictionaries & Thesauruses (10); English Language Reference (17); Food and Drink (4); History (32); Law (8); Literature (23); Maps & Illustrations (3); Medicine (11); Military History (6); Mythology & Folklore (9); Names & Places (5); Natural History (8); Performing Arts (13); Physical Sciences & Mathematics (9); Politics & Social Sciences (21); Pre-History (5); Quotations (5); Religion & Philosophy (13); and Science (42).

 Oxford Reference Online is updated at least three times a year with new titles or revised editions.  In the last update, 775 entries were updated and 103,900 new entries were added.

 Since Oxford Reference Online and Credo Reference each have their own collection of online reference books, you may want to check both sites for information.  ENJOY!                          J.A.S.

You Mean There’s Something Better Than Wikipedia?? Part 2

I hope that most of you have had the opportunity to use Credo Reference by now.  As you will recall, it is a database of 635 online reference books that has scholarly information.  If you want to use the information in a paper, click APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard format to see how it should be cited.

Since I had mentioned in the last blog entry that this database is continually being updated with new and updated sources, the following titles have just been added:

  • The 2011 Annual Register: World Events 2010
  • Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia
  • The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language
  • Collins English-Greek Dictionary
  • Collins Greek-English Dictionary
  • Cultural Geography: A Critical Dictionary of Key Concepts
  • Dictionary of Trade Policy Terms
  • Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture
  • Encyclopedia of New Jersey
  • Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History
  • The Environmental Debate: A Documentary History
  • Exemplary Economists: Europe, Asia, and Australasia
  • Exemplary Economists: North America
  • Globalization: Encyclopedia of Trade, Labor, and Politics
  • The Handbook of Political Sociology: States, Civil Societies, and Globalization
  • A History of Feminist Literary Criticism
  • A History of South African Literature
  • Key Concepts in Education
  • Key Concepts in Governance
  • Key Concepts in Nursing
  • Key Concepts in Public Health
  • Key Concepts in Social Research
  • The National Gallery Companion Guide
  • Pocket Guides: Myths & Legends
  • Pocket Guides: Narrative
  • Poverty and the Government in America: A Historical Encyclopedia
  • Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia

 Updates of the following titles have just been added and more will appear shortly.  They include:

  • Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History
  • The Hutchinson Chronology of World History
  • Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation

 Whether you’re looking for topics, people, dates, images, definitions, pronunciations, holidays/festivals, conversions, or even a crossword solver, Credo Reference is an excellent resource to use.  It even has “Topic Pages” which can be used as a one-stop shopping center for finding library information.  These pages have background information, journal articles, titles of books, images, videos, and related information for topics, people, places, events, etc.  So, if you haven’t had a chance to use Credo Reference, please take a few minutes to browse this user-friendly resource.  You’ll be glad you did!                                                                                              J.A.S.

You Mean There’s Something Better Than Wikipedia??

 You better believe it!!  Since Wikipedia is open for editing by everyone, it makes this source unauthoritative and unreliable.  Credo Reference, on the other hand, is a database that presently has 635 online reference books that are scholarly.  Even more new and updated resources will be added in the future.

 To find this database, go to the library website and click “Find Books” under the “Research” tab on the right side of the screen.  Next, click “Credo Reference Books” and type in a keyword or keywords to find information on your topic.  Another choice would be to click “Find a Book” which shows titles of reference sources for a variety of subjects.  You could then choose to look for information in one reference book or one subject which has a number of reference sources.

 At the present time, the following subjects are available with the number of reference books that are available for that subject:  Art (23); Business (47); Food & Beverage (6); Bilingual Dictionaries (18); Biographies (45); Dictionaries (10); Encyclopedias (6); Quotations (10); Geography (22); History (70); Language (26); Law (11); Literature (35); Medicine (35); Music (9); Philosophy (23); Psychology (21); Religion (18); Science (60); Social Sciences (121); and Technology (19).

 Try it!  You’ll like it!                                                                                                                J.A.S.

Library guides for research

Research – Library Guides

When you are ready to begin your research paper, you want to know how to find information on your particular topic.  Forsyth Library’s reference librarians have compiled numerous library guides on a variety of disciplines.  To access these, under the Research tab on our web page, select “Find research guides by subject”.  Next select your discipline (i.e. Agriculture).


You will notice that there are several tabs on the guide.  Each will assist you when doing different aspects of your research.  We will be discussing several of these in the next blog posts. 

The first will be the general information tab.  This will give you information on a variety topics such as library hours, how to access resources from off campus, asking questions, interlibrary loan, and handouts on different topics.

The second one is discussing research tips such as how to determine key search terms as well as tips and strategies for research.

Check back next week and we will be discussing how to find articles and books.


Welcome Back!

The staff and student employees of Forsyth Library welcome you to a new semester at Fort Hays State. We also want to welcome Dr. Cynthia Garrety, our new staff member, who is the Learning Commons Coordinator. Cynthia, who comes to us from the great state of Iowa, is a marvelous addition to our staff. She has lots of new ideas, so stop by and find out what the Learning Commons can do for you.

Cynthia Garrety, new Director of The Learning Commons

Cynthia Garrety, new Director of The Learning Commons

There have been some changes made over the summer which I would like to bring to your attention. The first change involves the subject guides that can be found on the library’s website. Several members of Forsyth Library’s staff have been working on updating the guides using a program called LibGuides. The link to access our published guides is I have enjoyed putting together the subject guides using this resource, as I think it adds a lot more variety to each guide.

The library has a new program (EZProxy) that will greatly benefit patrons who access our resources from off-campus. When you click on a resource that requires authentication, it will first take you to the FHSU secure authorization page which will allow you to enter your TigerTracks ID and password. As long as you are logged in from that point, you will be able to access the library’s online resources without having to re-authenticate for each different resource.

The Reference Desk has modified the hours that a librarian will be available to help with your research questions. The new hours are as follows:

  • M – Th  9:00 am-5:00 pm; 6:00-10:00 pm
  • Friday  9:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Sat.     10:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Sun.    1:00 pm-10:00 pm

The Special Collections Room (Room 122 on the main floor) is now a closed room, meaning that it is locked all the time. The room will be staffed from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. The staff who work in evenings and weekends will not have access to this room during those times, so please keep that in mind when you do need to use something from the Special Collections area. If you need to do research in the room, to look at a book from the Western Collection or Military History collection, or want to have a class tour, please call or email Patty Nicholas ahead of time to make an appointment. Call 628-5901 or email

Mark your calendars for an event at the library on September 23. “Library Legends: Dead Man’s Hand”  is a fun-filled evening that starts out with a free BBQ meal for the first 100 students and continues when clues are given to solve a mystery within the library. Watch for more information about this library mystery evening in a later blog post.

If there are any questions or comments about the library, please let us know. It is nice to have the faculty and students back on campus for another semester. Good luck to all!