Many public libraries subscribe to online databases in behalf of their patrons. Some of these databases can only be used onsite, like Ancestry Library Edition, while others permit you to access them from a home computer with a current library card and password.


Public Libraries, supported by tax dollars, offer free access to databases requested by local residents. Every library subscribes to different databases, based on local needs, but most libraries subscribe to some genealogical databases and provide computer terminals for patrons to use for free. Check with your local library to see what databases they offer.

Currently, HeritageQuest Online, owned by ProQuest, permits library patrons to access their database from home computers. Here’s an example how mine works.


1.  I type in the web address for my library website


Orem Library url


2. I look through the menu and find where I access online databases. At my library, it’s under the “My Library” tab. When I open “My Library” I select “Online Databases”


Example Library menu


3. Then, it shows me all the Online Databases available at my library and I select “Genealogy”


Online Databases from Library menu


3. Then, if I want to look at census records, for example, I’ll select “Heritage Quest Genealogy”


Genealogy menu from Online Databases

4. Next, I’m prompted to type in my library card number and pin 


Orem Library card and pin request



5. Then it opens the HeritageQuest Online search screen where I can access census records and more.

HeritageQuest Online accessed from home computer with Library card

Every library uses funds differently so if yours doesn’t subscribe to Ancestry Library Edition, MyHeritage Library Edition, HeritageQuest Online, etc., put in a request!

Best in your searches!

Here’s a pinnable image to save for future reference.

The Free Databases you may not be using #Libraries #GenealogyTips

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