Monday, September 22, 2014


St. Louis County Library is excited to announce the recent acquisition of church and other records from Canton Bern, Switzerland. The German and French records, on 847 rolls of high-quality microfilm, feature birth, marriage, and death information from the 16th to 19th centuries. The microfilm can be viewed in the History and Genealogy Department at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters located at 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The original records, held by the State Archives of Bern, offer information difficult to obtain in the U.S. Researchers are free to view the records and print copies as needed. The History and Genealogy department also offers a knowledgeable staff that can assist researchers in using the microfilm set. Microfilm rolls and their contents are listed in the St. Louis County Library catalog. A finding aid to the collection is available in the History and Genealogy Department.

Purchase of the microfilm set was made possible with funds from the William C.E. and Bessie K. Becker Collection, established in 2014. Mr. Becker, a civil engineer, is remembered for designing the Jewel Box in Forest Park. The couple's surviving children and grandchildren made the donation specifically to enhance the library's genealogical holdings. The Swiss microfilms join other Becker Collection sources for researching German and Irish ancestry.

The St. Louis County Library History and Genealogy Department is home to the National Genealogical Society Book Loan Collection, the St. Louis Genealogical Society Collection, and the Julius K. Hunter and Friends African American Research Collection. The department, with more than 85,000 books, including 16,000 family histories, and 25,000 reels of microfilm, is an important center for genealogical research in the Midwest.

For more information, contact the St. Louis County Library History and Genealogy Department at 314-994-3300, ext. 2070, by email here, or see the library's website.

Scott Holl
Manager, History & Genealogy Department
1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd. | St. Louis, MO 63131
tel 314.994.3300 ext. 2074

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