Thomas Balch Library Databases • In-House Subscriptions • Loudoun County Public Library Electronic Resources • Additional Historical and Genealogical Resources
Featured Database: America: History & Life
||America: History & Life is a dynamic index of 1,700 journals from 1964 to present covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. It includes citations and links to book and media reviews. An international perspective on topics and events includes abstracts in English of articles published in more than 40 languages. While this is a pure index, it should be noted that most every reference cited in the database index is available to Thomas Balch Library patrons either directly via our databases, or through Interlibrary Loan.
Thomas Balch Library Databases (FREE)
- Catalog Thomas Balch Library catalog combined with Loudoun County Public Library catalog.
- Collection Guides for Archives and Manuscripts Thomas Balch Library's collections include letters, diaries, account books, business records, community organization records, and Town of Leesburg archives. They document the life, culture, and history of Leesburg and Loudoun County. Collections of archives and manuscripts are described in detailed collection guides, providing researchers with historical and contextual information about the materials and their creators.
- Enslaved Community of President James Monroe This database, searchable by name or by year, is the result of several years’ research to locate and analyze documents relating to President James Monroe’s slaves, primarily the enslaved community in Loudoun County. Monroe owned land and slaves in several Virginia locations, including Loudoun County, where in 1830 he owned 1,828 acres and 66 slaves. This database will provide researchers with rare genealogical and historical insight within that slave community.
- Genius of Liberty Runaway Slave Advertisements An index of more than 200 advertisements are taken from a rare complete collection of the Genius of Liberty newspaper, a four-page weekly published in Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia from 1817-1843.
- A Glimpse into the History of African Americans in Loudoun County Designed with the educator in mind, lists some primary documents and excerpts from secondary sources available at Thomas Balch Library useful to preparing teaching units on various aspects of African American history. The materials tell the story of African American history from a Loudoun County perspective.
- Loudoun Cemetery Database Listing of most cemeteries and tombstones in Loudoun County based on a 1995 book produced by Thomas Balch Library staff. The book is still available for purchase, but that listing has now been updated and corrected here. There are separate books for some of the cemeteries covered in the database, and, in some cases, the books represent newer listings for that particular cemetery. There are additional cemeteries indexed only in books available at Thomas Balch Library.
- Loudoun Discovered Index In the late 1960s, local historian and mapmaker Eugene Scheel wrote a series of articles for the Loudoun Times-Mirror showcasing the more than one hundred communities of Loudoun County. In 2002 and 2003, the Friends of the Thomas Balch Library reissued the articles in book form. The five volumes are available for in-house use at Thomas Balch Library (V REF 975.528 SCH) and check-out at many LCPL branches.
- Virginia Heritage: Guides to Manuscript & Archival Collections in Virginia Sponsored by the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), Virginia Heritage is a consolidated database of finding aids to manuscript and archival collections, provides information about historical materials that document Virginia History and culture from 1607 to the present.
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In-House Subscriptions - available in Thomas Balch Library only
- Access NewspaperArchive.com Tens of millions of English-language newspaper pages from 1759 to present. Every newspaper in the archive is fully searchable by keyword and date.
- African American Heritage (Proquest) This comprehensive resource for African American history includes search options for census, military records, slave and free black registers, and Freedmen's Bank records, and allows access to the AfriGeneas social networking site and the Black Genesis resource guide, as well as a how-to guide for use of African-American reference and general research materials.
- America's GenealogyBank Quickly find your ancestors in over four centuries of rare documents and records. Search thousands of historical newspapers, books, pamphlets and genealogies. Plus, selected material from the American State Papers and U.S. Serial Set and the complete Social Security Death Index. A personal subscription to this database may include resources not available through the library's subscription.
- America's Newspapers The electronic editions of record for valuable local, regional, and national U.S. newspapers--all in one easy-to-search database. Each paper provides unique coverage of local and regional news, including companies, politics, sports, industries, cultural activities, and people in the community. Paid ads are excluded.
- America: History and Life Index of 1,700 journals from 1964 to present covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Includes citations and links to book and media reviews. An international perspective on topics and events includes abstracts in English of articles published in more than 40 languages.
- American Archivist Journal of the Society of American Archivists. Since 1937, The American Archivist has provided a forum in print for discussion of trends and issues in archival theory and practice. With more than 5,800 readers, The American Archivist has the largest circulation of any English-language archives journal.
- AncestryLibrary.com Approximately 4,000 databases including U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1930; Map Center with more than 1,000 historical maps; American Genealogical Biographical Index (over 200 volumes); Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage (over 150 volumes); The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1630; Social Security Death Index (updated monthly); WWI Draft Registration Cards; Federal Slave Narratives; and a strong Civil War collection. A personal subscription to this database may include resources not available through the library's subscription.
- Archives Unbound This collection of databases presents topically-focused digital collections of historical documents that support the research and study needs of scholars and students at the college and university level. Collections are chosen for Archives Unbound based on requests from scholars, archivists, and students. Collections available include:
Civil War in Words and Deeds A vast database of over 144,000 images, this resource documents the Civil War through regimental histories, personal narratives, and other sources of significant historical value from the period between 1860 and 1865. Items available in this database are some of the most useful sources available to historians of both local and Civil War history, as well as to genealogists.
Civil War Service Reports of Union Army Generals. Beginning in 1864, the U. S. Adjutant General requested that each serving Union Army general submit "…a succinct account of your military history…since March 4th, 1861." Further reports were solicited in 1872 and afterward. These generals’ reports of service represent service in the Civil War and into the period of Reconstruction, and include reports of battles, interaction with Indians, and sometimes their personal feelings regarding the war, slavery, and other historic issues.
Confederate Newspapers: A Collection from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Alabama. This collection is a mixture of issues and papers from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Alabama ranging from 1861-1865. These newspapers "recorded the real and true history of public opinion during the war. In their columns is to be found the only really correct and indicative ’map of busy life, its fluctuations and its vast concerns’ in the South, during her days of darkness and of trial."
Freedom Riders in the South, 1961 Subtitled "We Were Prepared For the Possibility of Death," and drawn from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Library, this comprehensive database contains documents which describes the journey of civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated South to test the results of United States Supreme Court decisions outlawing racial segregation in southern interstate bus terminals. This important resource celebrates the 50th anniversary of the CORE Freedom Riders.
The War of 1812: Diplomacy on the High Seas. During the War of 1812 Congress authorized the Secretary of State to issue commissions of letters of marque and reprisal to private armed vessels permitting them to "cruise against the enemies of the United States." This collection contains reports concerning letters of marquee, enemy aliens and prisoners of war, passenger lists, reports from secret agents, and miscellaneous correspondence.
- Digital Sanborn® Maps, 1867-1970™ (Virginia) Sanborn® fire insurance maps are detailed property and land-use records covering more than 12,000 U.S. towns and cities. The maps provide a wealth of information, such as building outline, building use, boundaries, and house numbers. The plans often include symbols for stables, garages, warehouses, etc. Factories are labeled with the owner's name and products manufactured. Also depicted are pipelines, railroads, wells, water mains, dumps, and heavy machinery.
- Fold3. Formerly titled "Footnote.com", this database features more than 40 million digital images of original source documents relating to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, U.S. Presidents, and naturalization documents. Fold3’s partnerships include the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and SmallTownPapers, Inc. A personal subscription to this database may include resources not available through the library's subscription.
- HeritageQuest Online Includes images and extensive indexing of the 1790 to 1930 U.S. federal censuses, more than 20,000 book titles, including family and local histories, and more than 250 primary-source documents such as tax lists, city directories, and probate records. Also includes Periodical Source Index (PERSI) to more than 6,300 genealogy and history periodicals written in English and French (Canada) since 1800. Other valuable collections are the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, which identifies more than 80,000 American military and enlisted men.
- JSTOR An interdisciplinary archive of academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials. It is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, includes images, and is interlinked by millions of citations and references. TBL’s subscription, Public Library Collection I, focuses on arts and humanities journals within JSTOR, featuring more than five hundred titles across approximately forty disciplines.
- New England Historic and Genealogical Society The NEHGS research library is home to more than 12 million original documents, artifacts, records, manuscripts, books, family papers, bibles, and photographs dating back more than four centuries. Databases available online include: Massachusetts Vital Records through 1910, New York Probate Records (1787 - 1835), church records, newspapers and periodicals, city and town directories, court records, census, tax, and voter lists, diaries and journals, land records, military records, and published genealogies and biographies. New databases are added weekly. NEHGS also offers free, short online seminars on a variety of topics.
- ProQuest Obituaries The ProQuest Obituaries collection is a premier resource for genealogical and historical research. You can use the collection to search obituaries and death notices from prominent newspapers, such as The New York Times (dating back to 1851). The collection includes both famous and lesser-known individuals and can be searched by name or by keywords appearing in the body of the article.
- World Vital Records.com Thomas Balch Library’s subscription to WorldVitalRecords.com provides access to records in their U.S. and World Collections. The U.S. Collection includes access to data such as vital records, census documents, court and land records, digitized books, immigration records, military records, newspapers, directories, Everton Publisher's Online Library, Quintin Publication's CDROM Library, E-Yearbooks, and AllCensus. The World Collection includes access to international data such as United Kingdom censuses, birth, marriage, and death records, Genealogical Publishing Company, Archive CD Books Australia, International Newspaper Collection, and Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild. A personal subscription to this database may include resources not available through the library's subscription.
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Loudoun County Public Library Electronic Resources
The following databases require a valid LCPL library card for access.
The Washington Post One of America's leading newspapers, with national, international, and regional coverage. Search full text articles dating back to 1987. For older articles, see Historical Newspapers, which offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.
- African American Experience Electronic research tool for African American history and culture from one of the most respected publishers in the field. It includes hundreds of primary documents, slave narratives, photographs, and audio clips.
- America the Beautiful Each of the 50 states plus DC, Puerto Rico and the major territories is covered. Get in-depth information on the history, geography, economics, government, culture, and major cities.
- Historical Newspapers Search the complete run of The Washington Post as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Christian Science Monitor into the 1990s. View articles or entire pages as they appeared when published, browse historical topics, or view a timeline of major events in American history.
- History Resource Center Collection of primary documents, secondary reference sources, and journal articles covering all areas of United States history from pre-colonial times to the present day.
- Civil War Era Get a fascinating glimpse of the Civil War era as it was lived in cities and towns across America with the complete runs of eight regional newspapers covering 1840-1865."
- History Resource Center: World Featuring extensive coverage of the 20th century, the database also includes content on the ancient Mediterranean, Near East, Asia, Middle East, Latin America, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
- Daily Life Online Explores the essentials of everyday life past and present, food, shelter, families, work, play, and neighborhoods.
- In the First Person Provides in-depth indexing of more than 4,000 collections of personal narratives in English from around the world, including letters, diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies, and other personal narratives."
- Gale Virtual Reference Library Database of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. These reference materials once were accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online 24/7.
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Additional Historical and Genealogical Resources
- AfriGeneas is a site devoted to African American genealogy, to researching African Ancestry in the Americas in particular and to genealogical research and resources in general. It is also an African Ancestry research community featuring the AfriGeneas mail list, the AfriGeneas message boards and daily and weekly genealogy chats.
- Allen County Public Library One of the leading genealogy libraries in the U.S., ACPL has numerous free online resources, including pathfinders for doing research for specific countries.
- Alexandria (Virginia) Public Library - Local History Collection
- American Memory - Library of Congress Provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.
- Association of Professional Genealogists APG strives to support, guide, and protect all aspects of genealogy as a profession and promotes the highest standard of ethics and professionalism among members. Includes find-a-researcher database.
- Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers Sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), Chronicling America allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
- Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet Free categorized & cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the Internet.
- Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library
- Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
- Encyclopedia Virginia With the mission to develop the civic, cultural, and intellectual life of the Commonwealth by creating learning opportunities for all Virginians, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VHF) brings together the resources and content to make the Encyclopedia a valuable tool for exploring the people, history, government, economy, and culture of Virginia.
- Fairfax County Public Library - Virginia Room
- Handley Library - Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Winchester, Virginia
- The Library of Congress
- The Library of Virginia
- Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives: Online Indexes
- Loudoun County Real Estate Tax, Assessment & Parcel Database
- National Archives (U.S.A.)
- onlinenewspapers.com Search engine to identify and access current newspaper websites worldwide
- QuakerMeetings An attempt to record basic historical information about every monthly meeting of the Religious Society of Friends that has ever existed in North America (about 2085 identified so far).
- National Historical Topographical Map Collection Searchable database of topographical maps from the United States Geological Survey. More than 141,000 USGS maps of the United States are available in PDF format for free download and viewing.
- Purcellville Gazette Searchable database of back issues to 2005.
- rootsweb Helps connect people so that they can help each other and share genealogical research. Most resources on RootsWeb.com are designed to facilitate such connections.
- Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center (RELIC) Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas, Virginia
- Virginia Cavalcade Index, 1951-present, sponsored by the Library of Virginia
- Virginia Historical Society
- Virginia General Assembly Legislative Information System Online access to current legislative session information, with archived sessions dating back to 1994, as well as searchable databases for the Code of Virginia, Administrative Code, Supreme Court Rules, and Bills & Resolutions.
- Virginia's Judicial System: Case Status and Information Online access to the case management system for the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, selected Circuit Courts and General District Courts. Access to the case management system for the juvenile and domestic relations district courts is not available online.
- West Virginia Vital Research Records Project
- WorldCat World Cat is the world's largest network of library content and services, and lets you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world.
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