2015 William Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship Awarded at National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri
ARLINGTON, VA, 19 May 2015—The National Genealogical Society’s William Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship is presented yearly to a librarian whose primary focus is genealogy and local history and who is employed in a public, academic, or special library. The 2015 award was given at the National Genealogical Society’s Librarian Day, one of several special events at their Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri. The award and a $1,000 prize underwritten by ProQuest, went to Scott Holl, MLIS, the manager of the History and Genealogy Department at St. Louis County Library. Prior to coming to St. Louis, Holl started his library career at the Newberry Library in Chicago and worked as the archivist and librarian at Eden Theological Seminary for the United Church of Christ.
Since he began his tenure at St. Louis County Library in 2007, Holl has undertaken many new initiatives to enhance genealogical research. He is the creator and editor of the History and Genealogy Department’s electronic monthly publication, PastPorts. This free, online publication not only helps local patrons, but also out-of-town researchers. He designed and edited the state, country, and topic research guides, which are available online making all cited records more useful. He also created a one-of-a-kind, how-to finding aid for using the Deutsche Gechlechterbuch collection, a series of German lineage books of non-noble families.
Holl has dedicated considerable time and effort to develop a strong European collection. When a donor stepped forward ready to buy new material for the library in honor of his family members, William C. E., & Bessie Becker, he located an available collection of German and French records from Canton Bern, Switzerland, consisting of 847 rolls of film featuring birth, marriage, and death information ranging from the 16th to 19th centuries. Today, St. Louis County Library and the Family History Library are the only known U.S. facilities to hold this collection. He also played a major role when Picton Press owner, Lewis Bunker Rohrbach, decided to donate his private library of more than 11,000 books and journals to St. Louis County Library, thus expanding the resources for Maine, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, as well as for England, Wales, and Scotland.
His efforts have been the driving force for the library’s acquisition of Ortssippenbücher books (local family genealogy registers) and Deutsches Familienarchiv books used by genealogists across the country. These collections join the Yizkor books, which memorializes destroyed Jewish communities in Europe.
After the library discovered the availability of original records from Centenary Methodist Church in downtown St. Louis, Holl organized the collection and indexing process, all the while preserving historical records and making the index available online.
Holl’s unique input to collection development and his ability to envision, organize, and execute projects of value to researchers has enhanced the research experience for those who visit the department, use its website, or interact with the staff, including researchers using the National Genealogical Society’s Book Loan Collection, which makes it’s home at the library.
About ProQuest (http://www.proquest.com)
ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company’s products are a gateway to the world’s knowledge including dissertations, governmental and cultural archives, news, historical collections and ebooks. ProQuest’s technologies serve users across the critical points in research, helping them discover, access, share, create and manage information.
The company’s cloud-based technologies offer flexible solutions for librarians, students and researchers through the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary® and EBL™ businesses – and notable research tools such as the Summon® discovery service, the Flow® collaboration platform, the Pivot® research development tool and the Intota™ library services platform. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.
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Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.