Tag Archives: NUCMC

New GeneaGem: Do You use NUCMC for Genealogy?

The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, or NUCMC for short, is a huge collection of historical manuscripts pertaining to American history and culture.

The clearinghouse, so to speak, for NUCMC is the Library of Congress. However, NUCMC is difficult to search and access because the collection is not housed in any one location, nor is most of it digitized.

To learn more about NUCMC, begin at the Library of Congress.

The description – 72,300 collections in 1406 different repositories says it all and those manuscripts that have been printed are all currently out of print.

So, how can genealogists search the NUCMC collection and/or access its contents? The Library of Congress hosts a gateway to the collections found on WorldCat.

It is important to note that most of the NUCMC collections will not pertain to a specific family genealogical connection. Instead, successful searches are more likely to concern places, events and socio-economic and cultural topics.

For example, I tried several searches. PASSAIC, a city in New Jersey, brought up 312 hits when I chose Geographic Place in the menu.

The results included books on cemetery inscriptions, industrial life and events in Passaic, the role of the school in preventing juvenile delinquency, President Taft’s visit and records of the Passaic Home and Orphan Asylum, along with several references to other genealogical materials.

If I was interested in the Passaic Home and Orphan Asylum, clicking on the entry brings up a full description and the location where it is housed, in this case at Rutgers University:

Next, I searched for Rusyn under the subject category and 14 items appeared. One entry is a Masters thesis from 2006, The Carpatho-Rusyn Immigrants of Pennsylvania’s Steel Mills (1880-1920), housed at CalPoly in Humboldt, California. It is a PDF that can be downloaded!

Searching for the California Gold Rush brought 470 results, the Oregon Trail had 756 hits and Trail of Tears, 152 hits.

Genealogists need to add social, economic, religious, cultural and historical layers to tell their ancestors’ stories.

NUCMC is a GeneaGem that shouldn’t be overlooked. Bookmark the Library of Congress gateway so your searches are only fingertips away!