Genealogy: Reference

Reference departments in most libraries collect sources containing factual information, usually in a format that does not require reading the entire text of the source. These sources allow users to find background information such as names, dates, events, places, statistics, and definitions of words. This information can help you place your ancestors in context and provide you with clues for further research. For example, if you wish to find a brief history of the Texas community where your ancestors settled in the 1920s, consult The New Handbook of Texas. If you aren't certain about the location of a town, try an atlas or a gazetteer. For the definition of a legal term in a court or land record, check Black's Law Dictionary.

Although Reference books may not be checked out, you can use our scanner to make digital copies. You can also make photocopies using your Buffalo Gold card or a copy card. Copy cards may be purchased at the Circulation Desk on the first floor of the Library. Photocopy machines are located near the Circulation and Reference Desks. Ask at the Circulation Desk for assistance with photocopying.

Genealogy Research Guides

The guides listed below include information on how to do genealogical research. They should also be of assistance to those researching various topics in American history.

Blockson, Charles L. Black Genealogy. 1977.
CS 21 B55 Ref.
Everton, George B., Sr. The Handy Book for Genealogists. 1971.
CS 16 E85 1971 Ref.
Filby, P. William (Comp.). American & British Genealogy & Heraldry. 1975.
Z 5311 F55 1975 Ref.
Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. (3rd. ed.) 2000.
CS 47 G79 2000 Ref.
Schreiner-Yantis, Netti (Ed.). Genealogical & Local History Books in Print. (vol. 2). 1976.
Z 5313 .U5 G45 v.2 Ref.
Smith, Clifford Neal & Smith, Anna Piszczan-Czaja. Encyclopedia of German-American Genealogical Research. 1976.
CS 2541 S66 Ref.
Szucs, Loretto Dennis & Luebking, Sandra Hargreaves (Eds.). The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. (rev. ed.) 1996.
CS 49 .S65 1997 Ref.
U.S. National Archives & Records Service. Genealogical Research in the National Archives. 1983.
Z 5313 .U5 U54 1983 Ref.


Brasch, Ila Wales & Brasch, Walter Milton. A Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography of American Black English. 1974.
Z 1234 D5 B7 Ref.
Cederholm, Theresa Dickason (Comp. & Ed.). Afro-American Artists: A Bio-Bibliographical Directory. 1973.
N 6538 N5 C42 Ref.
Holloway, Joseph E. & Vass, Winifred K. The African Heritage of American English. 1993.
PE 3102 .N4 H65 1993 Ref.
Jackson, Irene V. (Comp.). Afro-American Religious Music: A Bibliography and a Catalogue of Gospel Music. 1979.
ML 128 .S4 J3 Ref.
Logan, Rayford W. & Winston, Michael R. Dictionary of American Negro Biography. 1982.
E 185.96 .D53 1982 Ref.
Sampson, Henry T. The Ghost Walks: A Chronological History of Blacks in Show Business, 1865-1910. 1988.
PN 2270 .A35 S25 1988 Ref.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. Negro Population in the United States, 1790-1915. 1918 (reprinted 1968).
HA 205 A33 1968 Ref.
Who's Who in Colored America. 1933-1937, 1950.
E 185.96 W54 Ref.


Bailey, L. H. Cyclopedia of American Agriculture: A Popular Survey of Agricultural Conditions, Practices and Ideals in the United States and Canada. 1909.
S 493 B2 Ref.
Bailey, L. H. Cyclopedia of American Horticulture: Comprising Suggestions for Cultivation of Horticultural Plants,....Together with Geographical and Biographical Sketches. 1910.
SB 45 B15 1910 Ref.
Edwards, Everett E. A Bibliography of the History of Agriculture in the United States. 1967.
SB 21 A46 no.84 Ref.
Kennedy, Joseph C. G. Agriculture of the United States in 1860; Compiled from the Original Returns of the Eighth Census, Under the Direction of the Secretary of the Interior. 1864 (reprint ed. 1973).
HD 1753 1860b Ref.
Pillsbury, Richard & Florin, John. Atlas of American Agriculture: The American Cornucopia. 1996.
G 1201 .J1 P5 1996 Ref.
Salisbury, Lutishoor & Zellar, Gary (Comps.). Bibliographical Resources to the Literature of Agriculture and Rural Life in Arkansas, 1820-1945. 2001.
S 37 .S35 2001 Ref.
Schapsmeier, Edward L. & Schapsmeier, Frederick H. Encyclopedia of American Agricultural History. 1975.
SB 441 S36 Ref.
Schlebecker, John T. Bibliography of Books and Pamphlets on the History of Agriculture in the United States, 1607-1967. 1969.
Z 5075 .U5 S28 Ref.
Stuntz, Stephen Conrad (Comp.) & Hawks, Emma B. (Ed.) List of the Agricultural Periodicals of the United States and Canada Published During the Century July 1810 to July 1910. 1941.
Z 5073 S8 1973 Ref.
Winburne, John N. (Ed.). A Dictionary of Agricultural and Allied Terminology. 1962.
S 411 D57 Ref.

American Indians

Boas, Franz. Handbook of American Indian Languages. 1969.
PM 108 B7 1969 Ref.
Champagne, Duane (Ed.). The Native North American Almanac: A Reference Work on Native North Americans in the United States and Canada. 1994.
E 77 .N37 1994 Ref.
Grossman, Mark. The ABC-CLIO Companion to the Native American Rights Movement. 1996.
KF 8203.36 .G76 1996 Ref.
Heard, J. Norman. Handbook of the American Frontier: Four Centuries of Indian-White Relationships. 1987.
E 76.2 .h33 1987 Ref. (5 vols.)
Hoxie, Frederick E. & Markowitz, Harvey. Native Americans: An Annotated Bibliography. 1991.
E 77 .H698 1991 Ref.
Johansen, Bruce Elliott. The Encyclopedia of Native American Legal Tradition. 1998.
KF 8204 .E53 1998 Ref.
Johnson, Michael G. The Native Tribes of North America: A Concise Encyclopedia. 1994.
E 76.2 .J64 1994 Ref.
Markowitz, Harvey & Adams, McCrea (Eds.). American Indian Biographies. 1999.
E 89 .A46 1999 Ref.
Olson, James S. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of American Indian Civil Rights. 1997.
KF 8210 .C5 E53 1997 Ref.
Prucha, Francis Paul. Atlas of American Indian Affairs. 1990.
G 1201 .E1 P7 1990 Ref.
Prucha, Francis Paul. United States Indian Policy: A Critical Bibliography. 1977.
E 93 .P7 Ref.

Archives - Europe

Roberts, Stephen, Cooper, Alan, & Gilder, Lesley (Comps.). Research Libraries and Collections in the United Kingdom: A Selective Inventory and Guide. 1978.
Z 791 .A1 R6 1978 Ref.
Smith, Clifford Neal & Smith, Anna Piszczan-Czaja. American Genealogical Resources in German Archives. 1977.
CS 2541 S6 Ref.
Lewanski, Richard C. Subject Collections in European Libraries. 1978.
Z 789 .L4 1978 Ref.
Welsch, Erwin K. Libraries and Archives in France: A Handbook. 1979.
Z 797 .A1 W44 1979 Ref.

Archives - United States

American Library Directory. 1992-.
Z 731 .A53 Ref.
Benavides, Adan, Jr. (Comp.). The Bexar Archives (1717-1836): A Name Guide. 1989.
CD 3539 .A888 B46 1989 Ref.
Blosser, Susan Sokol & Wilson, Clyde Norman, Jr. The Southern Historical Collection: A Guide to Manuscripts. 1970.
Z 6621 N8 S65 Ref.
Colley, Charles C. (Comp.). A Guide to the Manuscript Collections of the Arizona Historical Society. 1972.
CD 3099 .T8 A7 1972 Ref.
Darnay, Brigitte T. (Ed.). Directory of Special Libraries and Information Centers. 1988-.
Z 731 .D57 Ref.
Day, James M. (Comp.). Handbook: Texas Archival and Manuscript Depositories. 1966.
CD 3531 D3 Ref.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. Guide to American Historical Manuscripts in the Huntington Library. 1979.
Z 1236 .h36 1979 Ref.
Howell, J. B. (Ed.). Special Collections in Libraries of the Southeast. 1978.
Z 732 .S92 S64 Ref.
Kielman, Chester V. (Comp.). The University of Texas Archives: A Guide to the Historical Manuscripts Collections in the University of Texas Library. 1967.
CD 3539 .A8 T4 Ref.
Mikolajczak, Michael Allen. A Selected Catalog of Books in the Seventeenth-Century Research Collection of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 1982.
Z 733 .U89 U54 1982 Ref.
Morgan, Dale L. & Hammond, George P. (Eds.). A Guide to the Manuscript Collections. (Bancroft Library-University of California, Berkeley). 1963.
Z 6621 C159 Ref.
National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Historical Documentary Editions. 1986.
Z 6616 .A2 h4 Ref.
U.S. Library of Congress. The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, 1959-1961. 1965.
Z 6620 .U5 N3 1959-61 Ref.
U.S. Library of Congress. The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, 1965, Index 1963-1965.
Z 6620 U5 N3 1965 Index 1963-65 Ref.
Williams, Sam P. (Comp.). Guide to the Research Collections of the New York Public Library. 1975.
Z 733 N6 W54 Ref.

Art & Architecture

American Art Annual. 1928-1948.
N 9 A3 Ref.
Dawdy, Doris Ostander. Artists of the American West. 1974.
N 6536 .D38 Ref.
The Dictionary of Art. (Grove). 1996.
N 31 .D5 1996 Ref.
Grauer, Paula L. & Grauer, Michael R. (Comps.). Dictionary of Texas Artists. 1999.
N 6530 .T4 G73 1999 Ref.
Harris, Cyril M. Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. 1975.
NA 31 H32 Ref.
Hunt, William Dudley. Encyclopedia of American Architecture. 1980.
NA 705 .H86 Ref.
Jones, Lois Swan. Art Information and the Internet: How to Find It, How to Use It. 1999.
N 59 .J66 1999 Ref.
The National Register of Historic Places, 1972. 1972.
E 159 .N34 1972 Ref.
Osborne, Harold. The Oxford Companion to the Decorative Arts. 1975.
NK 30 O93 Ref.
U.S. The Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record. America Preserved: A Checklist of Historic Buildings, Structures, and Sites. 1995.
E 159 .A37 1995 Ref.
Yarwood, Doreen. A Chronology of Western Architecture. 1987.
NA 200 .Y37 1987 Ref.
Who's Who in American Art. 1938/39-1995/96.
N 6536 W5 Ref.

Associations, Organizations, & Societies

Encyclopedia of Associations.
HS 17 .G33 Ref. (Reference Desk)
Preuss, Arthur (Comp.). A Dictionary of Secret and Other Societies. 1924.
HS 12 P6 Ref.
Schmidt, Alvin J. Fraternal Organizations. 1980.
HS 17 .S3 Ref.


Numerous biographical sources are located separately from the remainder of the Reference collection. Ask at the Reference Desk for the location. You'll also find additional biographical information in subject encyclopedias and other works located elsewhere in the Reference collection. Also check under headings like American Indians, Art, Business, Education, Law, Medicine, Texas, & Women in this guide for additional biographical works.

American Council of Learned Societies. Dictionary of American Biography.
E 176 D563 Ref.
A Biographical Directory of Librarians in the United States and Canada. 1970.
Z 720 .A4 W47 1970 Ref.
Dictionary of National Biography: From the Earliest Times to 1900 (British). Also volumes for 1901-1960.
DA 28 D4 Ref.
Garraty, John A. & Carnes, Mark C. (Eds.). American National Biography.
E 176 .D565 1999 Ref.
Herbert, Miranda C. & McNeil, Barbara (Eds.). Biography and Genealogy Master Index. 1981-200; also available online.
Z 5305 U5 B57 Ref.
Howes, Durward (Ed.). America's Young Men: The Official Who's Who Among the Young Men of the Nation. 1938-39.
E747 .A72 Ref.
Matthews, William (Comp.). British Autobiographies: An Annotated Bibliography of British Autobiographies Published or Written Before 1951. 1968.
Z 2027 .A9 M3 1968 Ref.
La Beau, Dennis & Tarbert, Gary C. (Eds.). Biographical Dictionaries Master Index. 1975, 1979, 1980, 1982.
Z 5305 U5 B56 Ref.
McNaughton, Arnold (Comp.). The Book of Kings. 1973.
CS 404 .M3 1973 Ref.
The New Century Cyclopedia of Names. 1954.
PE 1625 C43 Ref.
New York Times. The New York Times Obituaries Index. 1858-1968, 1969-1978.
CT 213 N47 Ref.
Personalities of the South. 1975/76.
CT 213 P38 1975/76 Ref.
Roberts, Frank C. (Comp.). Obituaries from the Times (England). 1951-1960, 1961-1970, 1971-1975.
CT 120 .O13 Ref.
Virkus, Frederick A. The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy: First Families of America (vols. 1-4, 6).
CS 69 V814 Ref.
Who Was Who (British). 1897-1970.
DA 28 W6 Ref.
Who Was Who in America. 1607-1973.
E 176 N64 Ref.
Who's Who (British). 1926-1999.
DA 28 W6 Ref.
Who's Who in America. 1910-present.
E 176 .W642 Ref.
Who's Who in Library Service. 1943, 1955.
Z 720 .A4 U58 Ref.
Who's Who in the South and Southwest. 1956-1981.
F 208 W64 Ref.


Franklin, Benjamin, V. (Ed.). Boston Printers, Publishers, and Booksellers, 1640-1800. 1980.
Z 209 .B7 B67 Ref.
Hubbard, Freeman. Encyclopedia of North American Railroading: 150 Years of Railroading in the United States and Canada. 1981.
HE 2751 .H8 Ref.
Krooss, Herman E. Documentary History of Banking and Currency in the United States. 1969.
HG 2461 K76 Ref.
May, George S. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography: The Automobile Industry, 1896-1920. 1990.
HD 9710 .U52 A787 1990 Ref.
Nasrallah, Wahib. United States Corporation Histories: A Bibliography, 1965-1985. 1987.
Z 7164 .T87 N37 1987 Ref.
Thomas' Register of American Manufacturers and First Hands in All Lines: The Buyers' Guide, 1905-1906. 1905.
T 12 .T58 Ref.
Who's Who in Insurance. 1958.
HG 8523 W5 1958 Ref.
World Who's Who in Commerce and Industry. 1955, 1961-1968/1969.
HF 3023 .A2 W5 Ref.
World Who's Who in Finance and Industry. 1969-1980, 1996/1997.
HF 3023 .A2 W5 Ref.