School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Genealogy  


Prerequisites: LIS 501, 502, 503

Course Goal: To familiarize students with the genealogical resources and services: the focus will be on serving genealogists in libraries, but archival work will also be included.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the basic characteristics and elements of genealogy and heraldry
  2. Discuss the various purposes of genealogical research
  3. Describe the key reference tools used in genealogical research and demonstrate proficiency in using those tools
  4. Describe the collection management issues associated with genealogical resources and services
  5. Discuss the special elements key to a successful reference interview with a genealogist
  6. Describe special programs of interest to genealogists that could be offered by a library or archives.

Possible Assignments:

  1. Prepare a genealogical report on a family or individual, based on primary genealogical records
  2. Assess the genealogical resources available in one information agency (library or archives).

Reading List and Assignments

Please visit and read the following:

  • Allen County Public Library: Getting Started Review this Section of Allen County Public Library as an example of a Genealogy webpage
  • Cite Your Genealogy Sources; A Guide to Documenting Your Genealogy Research By Kimberly Powelll Guide
  • Libraries and Archives Canada: How To Begin
  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): FAQs Read this webpage and one click further for each link on this page
  • Wikipedia: Genealogy

NOTE: Please bring your University and/or your Public Library Card with you to class


All the assignments have some relationship to Alberta and could be used for the benefit of Albertans seeking information related to family history or heraldry or history.

Please choose one of the following topics for your Course Assignment to LIS 598

  1. Alberta: review and list the whereabouts of Primary and Secondary Records of Albertans.
  2. Template a library website that would assist people beginning their journey in genealogy and local history with an emphasis on Alberta resources.
  3. Develop a toolkit for use in a library for genealogists and local history enthusiasts.
  4. Prepare an authoritative list of databases that are available via the web related to individuals that lived, died or were born in Alberta.
  5. List organizations, institutions, corporations with a brief description of resource(s) that has resources related to Alberta genealogical import. These sites may be found in other provinces or countries.
  6. Provincial Archives of Alberta: assess and review genealogical and local history value of collection/resources.
  7. Identify primary and secondary resources for either Aboriginal records or French Canadian records in Alberta.

Assignments can be done either in electronic or printed format. (Electronic preferred for majority of assignments)With consent, your assignment may be uploaded for future reference by library practitioners.