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Quick Summary

A lot of library patrons run into issues with non-circulating items when undertaking Genealogy research. Katie dives into some of the resources that can help you mitigate those hurdles.

Old books

Most genealogy materials in libraries are non-circulating. That can be a bummer if you plan to borrow a certain item for your genealogy research. However, that does not mean you can’t access the item at all. Through Minitex’s free services, as well as other free online resources, you may access some or all of the item(s) you need. Many genealogy items have been digitized. There are several free online resources you can check for full text books or primary sources. Check the list below:

You can also request a scan...

  • If the item you need is not available online you can request free scans to be made through MNLINK ( A PDF copy can be sent directly to your email! 
    • If you are looking for family members, a location, etc. you can request a scan to be made from that part of the item. 
    • If you want to know the contents of the book, you can request a scan of the table of contents and index of the item. You can then place another scan request if there is something further you want from that item. 
    • In some cases, we are able to scan the whole item. However, it must be out of copyright and not exceed the library’s page limit. Be sure to note exactly what you want scanned, if the entire item you are requesting exceeds the page limit or its copyright still exists.
  • Check out the MNLINK FAQ ( for more information on requesting items through the service. 


Written by

Katie Huynh
Resource Sharing Specialist - Campus Locations
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