Free Research Classes

The State Library offers regularly scheduled and on-demand classes in the use of Library research sources and methods. All classes are held at the Maine State Library. Directions

Register for a current class or request a small customized group training for members of your organization or agency.  Members of the Reference staff are available to work with your group on research topics, use of MARVEL or resources such as MedLine Plus or ERIC.

Current Classes: dates, time, and description
Title Date Time
In the Beginning, Part 1, Starting Genealogy Wed Sept 10 9:15 am
In the Beginning, Part 2, Finding Your Roots Wed Sep 17 9:15 am
In the Beginning, Part 3, Branching Out on the Web Wed. Sept 24 9:15 am
Tech Tuesday Drop-in Help 2 pm
Working with Ancestry.com Library Edition Friday Aug 22 9:15 am

To register for any of these classes, complete the online form in the right sidebar or call 287-5600 and ask to sign up for a research class. Pre-registration is required for these classes due to limited space in the computer lab.

Check this page often for up-to-date class listings. We look forward to seeing you!

Further Assistance:

The Maine State Library provides equal access in its programs and services. If you need accommodations, please contact Reference at 287-5600.

Scheduling classes for groups:

If you would like to schedule one of these classes for a group (your friends, co-workers, classmates, club members, etc.) and none of the times or topics shown here meets your needs, we may be able to arrange a time just for you. A minimum of 5 participants is required.

Suggested class topics include Evaluating Web Sources, Using the MARVEL Databases, or Establishing News Alerts.

Please contact Reference at 287-5600 or at Reference.Desk@maine.gov to arrange for a group class.

Class Descriptions

In the Beginning, Part 1, Starting Genealogy, (1 - 2 hours)

Explore the basics of genealogical research. Discover the resources that the Maine State Library has to offer, including free access to Ancestry and HeritageQuest, plus family histories, vital records, Maine Old Cemetery Association records and much, much more. Research using the computerized catalog will be included. Start your family research with confidence!

In the Beginning, Part 2, Finding Your Roots, (1 ½ - 2 hours)

In this class we’ll continue the basics we started with and spend more time using the card catalog, URSUS, through exercises and practice. Then we’ll have a tour of the main floor of the library, emphasizing the areas and sources that would be most useful to a genealogist. The last part will be a “scavenger hunt”, with participants drawing assignments from a hat; hopefully, all will return triumphantly with treasures!

In the Beginning Part 3: Branching Out on the Web, (1 1/2 - 2 hours)

Some of the best genealogical resources on the Internet will be covered in this last part of our introductory genealogy classes. Some of the sites and databases covered will include Ancestry.com, Social Security Death Index, CyndisList.com, HeritageQuest and the Maine State Archives’ marriage and death listings. Let’s find those elusive relatives!

Working with Ancestry.com Library Edition

This edition contains over 4,000 databases of vital records from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, plus a few other countries. Major categories include census and voter lists, military records, immigration and naturalization records, court and probate, historical newspapers, church registers, maps and atlases, and the Social Security Death Index. Ancestry.com is generally regarded as the largest online collection, with information added continually.

This class will highlight search tools and point out other useful features of Ancestry.com: advanced search, special collections, geographical location, and Ancestry’s Card Catalog. There are even charts and forms available for download! We’ll also show participants how to print their findings to best advantage.

HeritageQuest Demystified!

This class will discuss the six main components of this database: U.S. Census; a family and local history index; the PERSI index of genealogy and local history articles; Revolutionary War (U.S.) Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application files; Freedman’s Bank records (for African-Americans, 1865-1874); and U.S. Serial Set-records of those seeking pensions from military service, and other relief actions.

Search methods will be covered, along with HeritageQuest’s special tools: the results list, notebook, search history, and learning center, along with the ever-present help screen.

In addition to in-house use, state library patrons can access this database from home with their barcode, whenever the Internet is available.

Web 2.0

This course is designed to present an overview of the Internet. Following individual student’s areas of interest the class will cover:

  • Finding and evaluating web sites; and
  • Establishing a personal web presence via email and social networking.

Word Processing: Getting started with Word 2010

In this class you will learn how to create a document in Microsoft Office 2010, use templates, write and proof read a letter, save and retrieve your work. This course will be of special interest to individuals who use the Maine State Library as their primary computer access point since this is the version of Microsoft Office on all public computers.

Register for a Class

  • Please only register for a class currently offered.
  • You may register for one than more course.
  • Please call Reference at 287-5600 for group registration.
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