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Genealogy: Home

Provides very basic information for the prospective family historian to get started in research and describes resources available in the Murray State University Libraries and Online

Special Announcements

Upcoming Closings & Special Events

Pogue Special Collections & Achives

May 28th - Closed to observe Memorial Day

June 7th  - Board of Regents Meeting;  Limited Access

June 20th - Limited Access due to event held in Pogue

July 4th - Closed to observe Independence Day



We urge you to please call ahead and make sure the archives

you are interested in are available at the time of your visit!

Thank You!

Visitor Parking

Everyone visiting our campus must have a parking permit. There are two ways to acquire a permit. If you're only spending a day or two with us, you can ask for one at the front desk as you come into Pogue Special Collections & Archives. Bring your license plate number in with you. We will cut the form you fill out in half. You will put the bottom half on your dashboard for the MSU Officers to see.

If you will be staying longer or making more trips during the year, you will want to go by the Public Safety & Emergency Management Office to get a permit with a longer validation period. The office is located on 1511 Chestnut Street. You may also request a permit online 

Their contact information is as follows: or 270-809-4812

Thank you!


About This Guide

This guide provides very basic information for the non-Murray State student and the prospective family historian to get started in family history research and describes resources available in the Murray State University Pogue Special Collections Library as well as online.  If you are a Murray State history student, you may find the history guide more helpful.

There are several websites that have good information for the beginning family historian.  The learning center that can be found at  as well as are two good places to start.


Contact us

Telephone: 270-809-6152              Fax: 270-809-6153


Murray State University

200 Pogue Library

Murray, Kentucky 42071

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The Pogue Library

The Forrest C. Pogue Special Collections Library occupies the upper three floors of the original library building on campus.  Completed in 1931, it served as the college library until 1978 when Waterfield Library was opened.  The building was rededicated in 1980 and serves as the Special Collections Library and named in honor of Dr. Forrest C. Pogue (1912-1996). Dr. Pogue, a Kentucky native and nationally known historian and biographer of Gen. George C. Marshall, was a former professor and alumnus of Murray State University.  In 1989, Dr. Pogue donated his books, personal papers and memorabila to Murray State University.

Hours of Operation

Pogue Special Collections Library

Monday through Friday

8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Pogue Library is closed on most major holidays.  Pogue Library may also close for special events.  It is recommended that researchers call ahead before planning a trip to Murray.

Check our calendar below for current information.

Where to Start

There are many websites that promise instant results concerning family history research.  However, the seasoned family historian knows better.  Begin your family history by recording the information about your family that you already know.  This can be accomplished through a family tree computer program or the old-fashioned way, by simply recording the information on paper charts.  Either way is acceptable if it is done consistently and accurately.  Once you record what you already know, ask older relatives what they might remember.  This can be accomplished through interviews, either in person or by telephone, or by sending letters to your relatives.  Either way you decide to interview them, make the questions specific and not general.  In other words, DON’T ask the question: “Can you tell me anything about the Washington family?”  Instead DO ask: “Do you remember when Grandma Martha Washington was born?”

Once you have some information recorded, you will notice where information is missing on your charts.  You will want to find this missing information.  Create a list of the specific information that you are missing and want to discover.  Decide in what type of source you might find that information.  For example, if you want to discover when your father was born, try looking at vital records.

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