Our Book Collection
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Since its inception, the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society has maintained a library collection of genealogical reference and resource books. Over the years, due to the generosity of its members and private donors, our collection has grown to approximately 22,000 volumes, making our library one of the major repositories of genealogical material on the west coast. This number represents the combined number of books available in our library for research in both digital format and in hard copy on the shelf. Our bound and digital collection includes county histories, extracted record collections, genealogical reference material, family histories and many other valuable books for the genealogical researcher. Geographically the collection covers material for many different countries and for all of the different states of the United States. Some of the books in our collection are hard to find and are not readily available in many locations across the country. Below is a listing of some of our major donated book collections.
Lewis County Genealogical Society Library
Several years ago, the Lewis County Genealogical Society was forced to find a new location to house their book collection. Unable to find any place suitable locally, they decided to donate their collection to our society. We are privileged to be able to include their collection of approximately 300 genealogical research books in our library.
The Wilbur Helm Collection
The library was fortunate to have the Wilbur Helm collection of research material donated to the library. Wilbur, one of the most proficient genealogists in the Northwest, maintained a private library of over 600 volumes of research material covering the entire United States with an emphasis on Civil War soldiers, sailors and histories.
The Vernie Smith Bennett Collection
The Texas family of Vernie Smith Bennett donated her private research library to the Society. Vernie was a very well-known and prolific researcher in the southern states and maintained a library collection of over 700 volumes of genealogical research material. We are pleased to have this collection, mainly covering the southern United States, in our library.
Washington State DAR Collection
One of the advantages of our library hosting the archives and headquarters of the Washington State chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, is we also get to include the state DAR book collection as part of our library. Although these are kept separate from our regular collection, they are all openly available to researchers and include many valuable volumes of records.
Patricia Bennet McGinty Collection
This is one of our newest donated collections. Patricia, a professional genealogist, author and lecturer in the Houston, Texas area has graciously offered her private library of approximately 500 volumes of genealogy books to our society. Her collection spans all of the southern United States and also includes many volumes about Cherokee records and research. This collection should be fully received, indexed and on the shelf by the end of 2021 and will be a very welcome addition to our collection.