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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

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.

About this Guide

This guide provides general 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.

Contact Us

Telephone: 270-809-6152

Fax: 270-809-6153


Murray State University

200 Pogue Library

Murray, Kentucky 42071

Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday

8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Pogue Library is closed on most major holidays, and also occasionally closes for special events. It is recommended that researchers call ahead before planning a trip to Murray. See our calendar below for current information.

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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 memorabilia to Murray State University.

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: “Can you tell me 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.

LibGuides - Search

LibGuides - Search

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