TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Pickler Memorial Library Truman State University

1. Are there any censuses taken by states or local governments?

"Many local and state governments have taken censuses at different times. Others have not done so. Again, many are available on microfilm at LDS, or in the archives of the city/county/state that took the census." source: U.S. Census Bureau 

2. How can I access the databases from my home?

There are instructions for how to access the library databases from off -campus at this page:     If you would rather talk to a person you can call the Information Technology Services Help Desk at 660-785-4544.

3. How can I avoid plagiarism when I am using ideas and words that are NOT of my own creation in my writing?

Purdue University has written an excellent guide to "Avoiding Plagiarism."

4. How can I judge whether a periodical is a scholarly journal article or a magazine article?

There is a terrific and short video that explains the distinctions between scholarly journal articles and magazine articles at

5. How do I cite my sources in the bibliography of my research paper?

There are some terrific resources to guide you in making a bibliography at this webpage: Citing and Writing Guides

6. How do I evaluate the quality and accuracy of the information I use?

You need to be concerned about the credentials of the author; the date of the information; the objective reasoning of the information and the amount of coverage of the topic that is presented. Pickler Library has a guide to help you evaluate information.

7. How do I find genealogical information or information about my family's history?

The library has a guide to help you with your  important and detailed genealogical research.

8. How do I find information on an artist who is not famous yet?

You might want to find some magazine or newspaper articles about recent shows of his art.   To find the magazine articles, your best bet would be Art Full Text.  Newspaper articles might be available about the artist with reviews of his work.  I would use LexisNexis Academic to find those.  You might be able to find basic biographical information by using Biography and Genealogy Master Index.   Biography and Genealogy Master Index is an index to a lot of biographical dictionaries.  It can be tricky to use so if you need help ask a librarian.

9. What about Naturalization Records?

"By law, a person can be naturalized in any "regular" court. The Immigration and Naturalization Service does have records for the entire country beginning in 1906, but before this time, the procedure will only be located in the records of the court where it took place. Many of these court records are in the custody of the government which administrates the court. That is to say, a municipal court's records would be in the custody of the city, a county court's records in the custody of the county, etc. Although court records are routinely indexed, these indexes do not always include the name of each person naturalized. And in fact, during periods of our country's history, only the head of a household would have to be naturalized for the whole family to gain citizenship. A further caveat: Not everyone who immigrated was naturalized. And although the person being naturalized had to renounce his allegiance to his former state, the records only rarely give the exact place of his birth or previous residence." source: U.S. Census Bureau

10. What about Vital Records (Birth/Marriage/Divorce/Death)?

"Generally the states have all vital records, beginning about 1900 (this varies in each state). However, counties will usually have marriage records, beginning at the date the county was organized. The States and some cities where the event occurred are responsible for these records. For a list of vital records office addresses go to: (, look under "How to...". Like the court records, many of these have been microfilmed, and are also available at LDS." source: U.S. Census Bureau

11. What do I do when something is not available at the library?

When it isn't in the library...

12. Where Can I Find Information on Immigration or Emigration?

"Immigration records for major U.S. ports have been kept on a regular basis since 1820. These include: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Orleans. Others, such as Mobile and Galveston began keeping records later in the nineteenth century, while western ports (San Francisco and Seattle) began in the last years of the 19th century. These records have been microfilmed, and are in the custody of the National Archives and LDS. These passenger arrival records include the name of every passenger on the ship, including those who were born or who died during the voyage. Generally, the lists include the full name, age, sex, place of origin, and destination. Emigration (departure) lists do exist for some European ports, but not all, and not even every major one (for example, no comprehensive departure lists are known for the British Isles). Among the ports for which emigration lists are available are Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Hamburg (but NOT Bremen). Microfilm copies of these lists are available at the same places as the immigration lists." source:  U.S. Census Bureau
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