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Special Collections

Genealogy & Local History Room Guidelines

The books, microfilm, manuscripts, maps and other items in this room constitute a research collection; none of the materials may be checked out of the library.

Items cataloged as VAULT, or LOCKED CASE will require the assistance of a Reference Librarian to retrieve. If you are planning a visit and would like to use these materials or items from our Local History Pamphlet file or Photograph collection, we recommend that you call ahead so these items may be pulled for you before you visit. Patron may use two items at a time from these collections. Please call the Reference Desk at 540.434.4475 x 123 to alert us of your visit or with any questions. Indexes for our Local History Pamphlet file or Photograph collection can be found on our Genealogy & Local History page.

For patrons wishing to listen or view some of our archival videos or sound recordings located in our VAULT collection, we do have a listening station that can be set up in advance. Patrons may use two items at a time from these collections. Please call the Reference Desk at 540.434.4475 x 123 to alert us of your visit or with any questions. A complete listing of our archival AV holdings can be found on our Genealogy & Local History page.

The Genealogy room is kept at a cooler temperature for preservation reasons. Please consider bringing a sweater or light jacket if you plan on staying for an extended period of time. If you wish to bring items from the regular collection into the Genealogy room please let the Reference Librarian know before you enter the room. A self-service, black and white coin-operated copier and two microfilm readers with a printer are available in the room. There is a $.25/page charge for prints and copies.

Please be aware that some of our items have “Do not photocopy” labels on them and cannot be reproduced. Authors also put some restrictions on reproduction located in the title information inside the book. Please make sure to check for any restrictions before copying items in our collection as you will be responsible for any claims of infringement that might occur because of improper copying.

As many of the materials in the collection are fragile and/or valuable, patrons are asked to read the following rules.

  • Personal belongings, such as backpacks, bags or computer cases should be left outside in the file cabinet by the Reference Desk.
  • The library is not responsible for unattended items.
  • Absolutely no food or drink of any kind is allowed in this room. This includes chewing gum, cough drops, mints and candy.
  • Cell phones should be turned to vibrate.
  • Pencils, loose paper, notebooks, digital cameras, tablets, and laptop computers without cases are permitted in the room.
  • Please sign in with the Reference Librarian before using the room.
  • Digital cameras, cell phones, tablets & laptop computers are allowed in the Genealogy & Local History Room. There is Wi-Fi throughout the building.

Local History Resources:
The Local History Room collection at the Central Branch is a repository for books, manuscripts, oral histories, files, ephemera, and maps pertaining to the history of Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg and their families. Books highlighting other areas of Virginia also may be found. Featured, as well, is a large selection of published works on the American Civil War, including a complete set of The War of Rebellion: a compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Strictly a reference collection, these materials may be used by library visitors conducting genealogical and historical research on site.

The Library also has some of the local newspapers for Rockingham County--The Rockingham Register, from 1861 - 1904, Daily News-Record from 1913 to the current year, and the Page News and Courier from 1998 through the previous year on microfilm.

Enhancing the Local History Room collection are the Heritage Quest and Ancestry databases. Heritage Quest is available to patrons both on and off site while Ancestry is only available on site in all branches of Massanutten Regional Library. Massanutten Regional Library continues to purchase books and other materials for the Local History Room, which add to the scope of the established collection. The Local History Room also benefits from donations of materials by civic groups or private individuals, whether it be a periodical subscription or a self-published family history.

Inform. Inspire. Connect.

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