eLibrary FAQ

Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 2:15pm

What is the NYG&B eLibrary? 

The NYG&B eLibrary is a section of our website where you can find all of our digital record collections. With nearly 50 unique collections - including religious records, cemetery records, land records, naturalization records and the entire archive of the NYG&B Record - and well over 1 million names, the NYG&B eLibrary will be an essential resource for anyone researching their New York State family. 


Who can access the eLibrary?

Anyone with access to the internet can visit our eLibrary home page and view all of our collections. Each record set has its own page, which gives a basic overview of the collection, what it contains, and relevant tips for searching or browsing. There are also links to any relevant webinars or Knowledge Base articles that may be helpful. 

Only active NYG&B members can perform searches or view images. If you are interested in joining the NYG&B, read more about the benefits of membership.


How do I get to the eLibrary? 

There are many ways to get to the eLibrary on our website. There is a link directly below the main banner on our home page, as well as a link from your Member Dashboard (where you are taken immediately after signing in). You can also access the eLibrary from any page on our website - there is a link under the "Collections & Research" heading of the main menu:



How do I search a record set in the eLibrary?

On each collection page, you will see one or two buttons underneath the title of the collection. You may see a button labeled search, browse or one of each. To perform a name or keyword search, click the search button. To browse the record set by volume, year or other criteria, click browse. 


What's the difference between the search and browse buttons?

If you see a button labeled "search," this means you can query the collection by name or keyword. Clicking the search button will bring you to a screen on findmypast.com, where you can enter your search term and view the results. If you see a button labeled "browse," this means you can browse images in the collection based on certain criteria. For instance, if you would like to flip through the pages of a certain archived issue of the NYG&B Record, you would click "browse" on the Record collection page, and then select the volume and issue you would like to read. If you would like to flip through the records of a certain Church congregation in our New York State Religious Records collection, you can do so by clicking the "browse" button and then selecting the congregation from filter menu on that page. 


When I click the search or browse button on most collections, I am taken to a new website, findmypast.com. Why is that?

Many of our images and search indexes are hosted with our partner, Findmypast. Hosting digitized record sets is a resource-intensive project - Findmypast is one of the leading repositories of online genealogical data in the world, and their experience, infrastructure, and servers allow us to host all of our images while keeping membership costs low. Our partnership with Findmypast also provides additional benefits to members - all NYG&B members receive a complimentary voucher that enables free access to all of Findmypast's North American records, as well as British and Irish census records. Click here for more information and instructions about activating your voucher. When you're leaving newyorkfamilyhistory.org and going to perform a record set search on findmypast.com, you may be asked to sign in to your NYG&B account if you aren't already signed in. You will also see a page informing you that you're leaving our website and going to findmypast.com. 


Do I need to create a Findmypast account to access NYG&B record sets?

No, you do not need to create an account on findmypast.com. We encourage all of our members to create an account on Findmypast in order to activate their complimentary voucher, but this is not required to view NYG&B eLibrary collections. Creating an account on Findmypast will also allow you to create a family tree (which can be kept private) and get hints, or save specific records or searches. If you would like to browse NYG&B collections without creating a Findmypast account or without signing in to a Findmypast account if you already have one, you may occasionally get prompted to create an account. If you do, there is always an option to "continue as guest" (see question below) and view records without signing in. 


How do I search or browse NYG&B eLibrary collections on Findmypast without signing in?

If you do not want to sign in or create an account on Findmypast, you do not have to - when you click the search or browse button on an eLibrary collection on newyorkfamilyhistory.org and get taken to findmypast.com, their website will recognize that you're and NYG&B member and will allow you to access all NYG&B materials on findmypast.com. If you choose not to sign in, you will occasionally see a screen that asks you to sign in or create an account.

To continue without signing in, simply select the option on the left side of the screen - "continue as guest."