Our library

by Kathryn Doyle (11/28/2007)

Since its inception in February 1898, the California Genealogical Society has emphasized the sharing of relevant source material and the establishment of a library was one of its earliest goals. Our new home in the Breuner Building is located in a “lower level” (basement) suite that was renovated, painted and customized just for us.

This is a view of the library through the entrance door to our suite.
One of our dedicated volunteers, Gloria Hanson, at the reception desk.
A view of the stacks (notice the matching chairs – a
bargain negotiated by president Jane Lindsey.)

On the shelves and in the files are more than 30,000 reference aids and genealogical records including dozens of periodicals, 10,000 local and family histories, reels of microfilm, CDs and many unpublished manuscripts. The library has a wide variety of San Francisco and Northern California materials but is also generously stocked with regional, state and local references for the entire United States. New England, Mid-Atlantic states and the South are particularly well represented in the collection.

After hundreds of volunteer hours, a beta version of the CGS online catalog is now available and is also accessible from the society home page. Over 10,000 books are now searchable on this user-friendly site. By year end, input of the book titles should be complete and the process of loading the CD collection and periodicals will begin.

Photographs courtesy of Colleen Huntley and Jane Lindsey.

A new location

by Kathryn Doyle (11/27/2007)

The California Genealogical Society opened its doors in March 2007 at our newest location in the historic Breuner Building in Uptown Oakland at 2201 Broadway at 22nd. The move was one of a series that our genealogy library has made over its 109-year history and lands CGS at its second Oakland address, after a century in San Francisco.

The entrance to the building is on 22nd Street.

Annalee Allen, Oakland Tribune landmark columnist and Oakland Walking Tours program coordinator, featured CGS and the Breuner Building in her April 22, 2007 column: Historical building to house society.

Photographs courtesy of Jane Lindsey.

An Experiment

by Kathryn Doyle (11/26/2007)

I often find myself looking back and retracing my steps to remember exactly how I got to where I am. It’s something I do when researching my family genealogy and what I am doing now as I write this first blog entry. For me, the journey into the blogosphere started with a special report in the July 2007 Family Tree Magazine about shrinking membership in genealogical societies by Diane Haddad. Diane quoted Jasia, a “marketing expert who blogged at CreativeGene about societies after hers shrunk by half in three years.” Off I went to learn from the master and to read her series of 17 posts: “Declining Membership in Genealogical Societies.” Then I attended the 2007 FGS Annual Conference Meeting at the Crossroads of America in Fort Wayne, Indiana with a group from CGS. The keynote address was Societies Going Virtual by David E. Rencher and his conclusion was “Go Virtual or Perish!” I figured it was time to give this a try.