The Blake Library, operated by the Martin County Public Library System, located at 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, FL 34996, encompasses a total of 39,000 square feet with approximately 115,000 items in their collection. The community room can accommodate 250 people and is equipped with state-of-the-art sound equipment and lighting; computers (with online access) are available for use by patrons; and the parking area is large and free.
The MCGS "Special Collections Room"
The "Special Collections Room" (aka Genealogy Room) is located on the south wall of the main reading room. This room houses all of the genealogical books and reference materials comprising our library collection in one convenient location.
Use the search box on the home page of www.library.martin.fl.us to obtain a list of books on a subject in the Genealogy Room. For example use key words: genealogy Virginia to list the books on the State of Virginia in the Genealogy Room and genealogy New York for the books pertaining to the State of New York.
Ancestry.com's Library Edition and the New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS), and others (online subscription websites) can be accessed from the "Special Collections Room" computers free of charge. MCGS and Halpatiokee Chapter NSDAR are constantly purchasing new materials for the room; however, our budgets are limited and we depend on grants and donations to "fill the gaps." Please consider donating items (i.e., books and CDs) you are no longer using to the "Special Collections Room" so others may benefit from them.
Navigating the Collection
An index of the "Special Collections Room" holdings is located in a three-ring binder on the table. This "Holding Binder" is important for finding what you are looking for in the Genealogy Room, just as a card catalog is important in any library.
The "Special Collections Room" itself is divided into sections (i.e., State, Emigration, Military, etc). The books within each section have been arranged to adhere to the Dewey Decimal system to make locating the item of interest easier and compatible with other libraries.
New CDs are continuously being installed on the MCGS computers in the "Special Collections Room." An icon has been placed on the desktop (monitor screen) for easy review access (check with the MCGS volunteer on duty if you have problems). Unless the CD instruction sheet in the three-ring binder is used, it is unclear which icon on the desktop to open to view a CD. The index and the individual instruction sheets for the computers and CDs are upgraded as new CDs are installed. Our special thanks to Doug Poulter for the great work he's done on keeping our computers up-to-date with as much information as possible for our members and visitors.
VIEWING THE COLLECTION LIST ON-LINE
An index of the Genealogy Room books is in the GenRmBooks21Oct2015.xlsx file.
Click to down-load the file to your computer. Then double click to open the file.
Then click on the HOME tab to enable the FIND feature.
Enter the subject of interest, such as a state, i.e. Connecticut.
When you find a book of interest, write down the title and the Dewey Decimal System number.
Things to Remember
Before visiting the "Special Collections Room," access the Martin County Library catalog at http://www.library.martin.fl.us to search for items of interest:
- Bring paper and pencils
- Bring a sweater (sometimes the room is a bit cool)
- Bring your research (pedigree charts, family groups sheets, etc) so both you and the MCGS volunteer will have all the facts at hand.
"Special Collection Room" Volunteers
MCGS volunteers staff the "Special Collections Room" Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and on Monday and Thursday evenings, 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm, and on the 1st Saturday of each month, 10 am to 12 noon (as their personal schedules permit), and provide valuable assistance to anyone seeking assistance in researching their family lines. Under the direction of Shirley Pizziferri (MCGS) and Terry Dick (Martin County Library staff), all volunteers are trained and well qualified to assist patrons. If you are an MCGS member and are willing to volunteer your services for a few hours a week, contact Shirley Pizziferri at firstname.lastname@example.org or (772) 486-1425.
We hope you'll take the time to visit our "Special Collections Room" and avail yourself of the large and varied research materials available at the Blake Library. With our volunteer members in place and enhancements being added, we're sure our genealogical collection will be an important addition to your list of resources. Please be sure to introduce yourself to the MCGS volunteer on duty and don't forget to sign our guest log.
If you would like more information regarding our genealogical collection, please contact Shirley Pizziferri, Chair, at email@example.com or (772) 486-1425.