There are quite a few free sources out there that are used literally everyday by members of the genealogy and family history collective. Family Search pops into my head first, but so does Google. Both are fantastic for the job they were created for. However, the free tool I am most thankful for are the libraries. Not only am I thankful for my regional library, but The Library of Congress (shown here) especially.If you haven’t been out to The Library of Congress website and poked around you need to. The wealth of information is amazing! You can search the catalog, listen to music, watch an old film, browse the picture archive, map out a route, and so much more. More importantly, for those that live in the area or who are planning a trip, there is a genealogy reading room. The possibilities for uncovering a piece of history associated with your family are endless.
Then there are the blogs; nine different ones to choose from. You can keep up to date on what is going on at the Library, in the news, in the law, and around the world. Pick one to follow, or follow them all, you will not be disappointed.For the fun of it I searched for the county seat of where I am from, Washington, Indiana. There are currently 5,699 items related to this search term! Not all of those are the actual town, but still I was impressed. In the search results I did find this picture, which I just loved. It is titled "Farm boys eating ice-cream cones. Washington, Indiana" and was published in July 1941. My dad would have been 2, and I can just imagine him dressed like that sitting in a pick-up truck eating an ice cream on a hot summer day.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and go explore The Library of Congress; I promise that it will be well worth your while.