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Centre County museum invites locals to trace their roots

Hell is other people’s home movies.

Fortunately, the staff at the Centre County Library and Historical Museum doesn’t seem to mind.

From 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday, the doors to the house on North Allegheny Street in Bellefonte will be open to anyone who would like to preserve or learn more about their family history.

“I think it’s good to know where you came from. ... If you’re here, how did you get here?” said Alicia Leathers, Pennsylvania Room assistant at the museum.

As technology continues to progress, it seems less and less likely the answer to that question will be found with a VCR.

I think it’s good to know where you came from… If you’re here, how did you get here?

Alicia Leathers

The museum has a memory lab designed to convert videocassettes, slides and floppy discs to a digital format that is less susceptible to the ravages of time.

A similarly themed workshop will also teach people how to best protect family photos, old books and letters.

Still, technology isn’t always the best solution.

We get all kinds of people from all over the country coming in just to look into their Centre County ancestors.

Alicia Leathers

The open house will highlight local genealogy resources that are available at the museum — but not online.

“You can’t find them if you don’t come here,” Leathers said.

Those resources include copies of now defunct local newspapers dating back to 1829, an alphabetized obituary index and marriage dockets.

“We get all kinds of people from all over the country coming in just to look into their Centre County ancestors,” Leathers said.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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