Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

Curt B. Witcher of the Allen County Public Library to speak at Nov. 17 JGSI meeting

  • 17 Nov 2019
  • 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. - Registration and networking, 12:30. Guest Speaker 1:00 pm

“Using Periodical Literature for Genealogical Research” and “More than Surname Surfing: Best Practices for Using the Internet for Genealogy” will be the topics of two presentations by genealogy library manager Curt B. Witcher at the Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. This special program will start at 1 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Ill. Attendees will sign in beginning at 12:30 p.m.

For this meeting only, the JGSI library and help desk will not be available. 

Curt B. Witcher is manager of the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Newspapers and other periodical publications can be a wealth of family history information. “Using Periodical Literature for Genealogical Research,” which starts at 1 p.m., should be of interest to anyone conducting genealogical research.

While many family history documents remain on paper in archives and government offices, increasingly such genealogical research resources are being put online. In the second presentation, “More than Surname Surfing: Best Practices for Using the Internet for Genealogy,” which starts at 2:30 p.m., Curt will share tips for effective use of online genealogical resources.

The Allen County Library is well-known for its genealogical research resources, offering a collection of interest to family historians worldwide. Its extensive collection includes more than 350,000 printed volumes and more than 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche. These include family histories, census records, city directories, passenger lists, military records and much more. Their online databases include Ancestry.com, HeritageQuestOnline.com and AmericanAncestors.org as well as government document and obituary databases.


Curt B. Witcher is the library’s Senior Manager for Special Collections, a job which entails managing The Genealogy Center, serving as general curator for that institution’s Rare and Fine Book Collection, and supervising the new Lincoln Financial Collection’s Lincoln Library. He has worked at the Allen County Public Library for more than 35 years. Curt is a member of the Genealogy Committee of the American Library Association, a past chair of the association’s History Section, a former president of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society, and the founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society.

Curt was distinguished in 1995 as a fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association (FUGA) and received the Federation of Genealogical Societies' highest honor, the Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award, in 1997. He was the 2002 ALA-RUSA History Section Genealogical Publishing Company Award winner and in 2003 was honored by the Indiana Historical Society as that year’s Willard Heiss Memorial Lecturer. Curt was recognized in 2006 by being named the first fellow of the Indiana Genealogical Society. He was honored in May of 2007 with the National Genealogical Society’s P. William Filby award for outstanding, life-time contributions to genealogical librarianship.

Please note that this program begins at 1 p.m. and sign-in opens at 12:30 p.m.


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