Lawrence County Archives

Tips and Hints

Tips for Researching

These are introductory answers to frequently asked questions about the Lawrence County Archives and our holdings and services.

  • The Lawrence County Archives does not lend original documents for research use.

  • The Lawrence County Archives does have census records for research. We also have free access to the popular web site for use by patrons while at the Lawrence County Archives.

    Federal population census records, 1790-1930, are also available for research at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and in Regional Archives throughout the country.

  • The Archives will only copy exactly identified pages of the Federal census. To use this service, you must provide the2 following:
    • census year
    • name of the individual listed
    • state
    • county

  • In general, all government records are in the public domain and may be freely used. We do have some donated or other materials that might be copyrighted. If you have questions about the records you are interested in, speak to the archivist or reference staff that handles those records.

  • The Archives as a policy does not sign documents stating that particular records are not copyrighted because government records are in the public domain. For other materials, it is the user's responsibility to determine copyright.

  • The Lawrence County Archives does not appraise or look at privately owned documents or artifacts. To find an appraiser in your area, you may wish to contact the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America).

  • The Lawrence County archives does not add to its holdings through purchase. We may accept offers of donations when the documentary materials involved are closely related to records already in our custody. When documentary materials don't have a close connection, we direct potential donors to other appropriate archival facilities.

  • The Archives does not have information to help you locate living individuals. The records in the custody of the Archives are usually at least 20-30 years old. Information on living individuals is protected by the Privacy Act.

  • The Archives is a treasure trove of materials that can be used to trace your family lineage.

    Experts often suggest beginning with your oldest living relatives.

  • The volume of records in the Archives's possession that pre-date electronic formats is so vast, that costs and resource availabilities will most likely preclude the conversion of all of them to electronic formats.

  • Self-service copying by researchers is permitted under specified conditions in most research rooms, using:
    * Archives in-house equipment such as electrostatic copiers;

    * Researchers' own equipment ranging from cameras to scanners, that has been specifically approved by the Archives for work with the records in question.