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The Guyana / British Guiana Genealogical Society

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Source Libraries

The libraries with the most information are those in Guyana and London, England (as far as we now know, anyway!) (For book suggestions visit our Book page):

Hathi Trust Digital Library       New Oct 4, 2015, thanks to Riccardo Gomes
   This digital library is a collaboration of the universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the University of California system to establish a repository to archive and share their digitized collections. They have the publications of the Official Gazette of British Guiana (formerly the Royal Gazette of British Guiana) online and the documents are searchable. The years covered are from 1902 to 1917.
    These government newspapers' primary purpose for deseminating government notices and official documents. Therefore, you are likely to find ancestors listed in Juror's and Voter's lists or an article of property transfers or have obtained or sought to obtain a woodcutting license, etc. There are interesting lists of persons with balances in the Post Office banks. That list is divided by race, i.e., "Creoles and Others", East Indians", etc.
   I tested searching for some ancestor names in this collection and sometimes the correct page was linked, however, more often the result cannot be found on the page listed or nearby pages. I tried searching on my tablet (10") but it was very difficult so I recommend a laptop or larger tablet.
Go to the Hathi Trust collection and choose a collection. When the page comes up there will be a search bar window at the top. Each result will have a linked page which is supposed to take you to that listed page. To download each collection to your computer, you must be a student/employee for partner in the Universities listed in the partnership; however, you can download a page to your computer.

British Library Newspapers
The library at Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HE was closed in November 2013 and the newspaper collection was moved to the new facility at West Yorkshire which is designed to preserve the newspapers.. You can read about the move here.

The British Library:    St Pancras, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB The British Libarary holds a vast amount of archives of the colonial British Guiana. Among them is "The British Guiana directory, with almanack and diary for 1857-1862, 1868, 1875, 1882" .: Published by R. Short, Main-Street., 1867-1882. ( NOTE: The Boston library also has a copy of this book)

National Library -      POB 10240, Georgetown, Guyana

Library of Congress (USA)
Use online catalog to find holdings pertaining to Guyana. They do have films for the Demerara Chronicle newspaper, 1884 and 1861; plus the 1952 Daily Argosy, and a few books. All should be available via interlibrary loan.

Public Record Office:      Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU England
(The Public Record Office is the equivalent of the US National Archives and this is where copies of the newspapers are - use the indexes prepared by Inge Veecock of both the Argosy ( Argosy Index 1880-1896 of Births, Deaths & Marriages) and Colonist (Colonist Newspaper Index 1864-1880 of Births, Deaths & Marriages) newspapers for page numbers and dates.)

University of Chicago Center for Research library has the following historical newspapers on microfilm: The Colonist, The Daily Chronicle, Berbice Gazette, British Guiana Advertiser and the Demerera Daily Chronicle. The cost of an interlibrary loan is $110. The cost to view the films in their reading room requires a written request and approval and a $25 fee.

Local library or University library of a large city and try WorldCat to find book(s) in your local area

Immigrant Genealogy Society - This society, based in Burbank, California, does searches on documents and records they have access to (listed on their site) for a modest fee. This site focuses on immigrants from German-speaking European countries - so this one is a "long shot" but may be worth a look.

University of Florida - The Latin American department and the University Library each hold microfilm of the Royal Gazette newspaper (search the library catalog for "Royal Gazette"). They also have the following more recent newspapers on microfilm: British Guiana Bulletin (1953); The Creole (no year(s) provided); The New Daily Chronicle (1927) in addition to a large collection of books on the people and country of Guyana.
A search for their interlibrary policies yielded only one statement: "PLEASE NOTE: Interlibrary Loan services, remote access to UF proprietary databases, and use of certain materials are restricted to current UF students, faculty, and staff."   It is unknown if this policy applies to the newspaper microfilm." Not withstanding the above stated interlibrary loan policy, it seems that some have successfully loaned the films.

Berbice Colony slave records, 1826-1827. 3 items. cto materials in this collection housed at Hill Memorial Library / Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 Public Services Desk: (225) 578-6544 Reference Desk: (225) 578-6568 Fax (225) 578-9425; Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Address: Baton Rouge, LA 70803-3300 LSU Shelving control number: Mss 2934
Notes and Summaries: Included are a deed of arrangement between owners of three sugar plantations in Berbice, (formerly British Guiana, now Guyana), and lists of slaves attached to the plantations as of Oct. 20, 1826, citing names, ages, employment, places of birth, and distinguishing marks. Also listed are children born to slave mothers on the plantations, 1819-1826, with names, dates of birth, ages, and names of mothers noted. Physical rights are retained by the LSU Libraries. Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators of these materials in accordance with U.S. copyright law. Preferred Citation: Berbice Colony Slave Inventory, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge. This collection covers: Slave records Berbice; Slavery Berbice; Plantations Berbice; RLG Union Catalog Record ID: LALG91-A463

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