Back to top

For the Record

Published on Wed, 03/21/2018 - 11:15am

My kids dreaded when their teacher asked what their parents did for a living because when they answered that their dad was an archivist, the question that inevitably followed was, “What is an archivist?” If a teacher didn’t know, how could a kid know the answer? My daughter came up with the perfect solution. She bought a t-shirt at the National Archives that had the word archivist phonetically spelled out along with a definition of the word on the back of the t-shirt. My kids are now grown, and both their parents are archivists; so to avoid confused looks and some curious comments, they just tell people that their parents work in libraries.

Simply stated, an archive is a place where a collection of historical documents or records is stored, and an archivist is the person responsible for preserving and providing access to those records. The Midwest Genealogy Center has an archival collection focusing on Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties in Missouri. MGC’s collection contains many unique records that may help with researching your family history. You can browse our online archival collection by visiting our Genealogy Gallery. Not everything in our archival collection has been digitized, but you can view the finding aids and name indexes online and then access the materials in the Library.

One collection that contains genealogical information about local residents is the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodges of Jackson Co., MO Collection. At first glance, the membership records look more like a financial accounting of dues. Looking closely at the membership record for William English of the Elmwood Lodge, his death date and age were added at the bottom of the record. Other records within this collection have birth dates, occupations, addresses, and names of widows and children who were receiving support from the organization.

Because each archive has unique collections, you may or may not find something about your ancestor. Think how exciting it would be to find a photo of an ancestor that you have never seen before or to read an entry from a diary that you never knew existed. Check out the Genealogy Gallery; you may find a genealogical gem waiting for you. What has been your most exciting find in an archive?

Jolene C.
Midwest Genealogy Center

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Resources You May Also Like

Events You May Also Like

Using Interlibrary Loan for Genealogy

Tue, Jul 16 2019
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Registration Required
Use Interlibrary Loan to expand the walls of your library and encompass a world of information. Come learn how to order microfilmed newspapers from across the country and books from other libraries.

Using Fold3

Wed, Jul 24 2019
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Registration Required
Learn how to use Fold3 to access U.S. military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who have served.

Census Records Research

Tue, Jul 23 2019
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Registration Required
The U.S. Federal Census is a great place to start tracing your ancestors. The first Federal Population Census was taken in 1790, and a census has been taken every 10 years since that date.

Blogs You May Also Like

MGC renderging

MCPL Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony at Midwest Genealogy Center

On Thursday, August 2, at 9:00 a.m., Mid-Continent Public Library will host a groundbre
Read More
MGC Lock-in

Late Night at MGC

If you could be locked in a library, what kind of library would it be?
Read More
save money

Get Healthy, Get Promoted, Get to the Library this New Year!

Make 2019 the year that you finally check off those recurring resolutions with a little help from
Read More
Queer Eye

Netflix’s ‘Queer Eye’ Pays Visit to Midwest Genealogy Center

If you’ve watched the most recent season of Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, filmed in our very ow
Read More
Was this page helpful?
Would you like an email response?