Free Research Classes

The State Library offers regularly scheduled and on-demand classes in the use of Library research sources and methods. All classes are held at the Maine State Library. Directions

Register for a current class or request a small customized group training for members of your organization or agency.  Members of the Reference staff are available to work with your group on research topics, use of MARVEL or resources such as MedLine Plus or ERIC.

No Classes Scheduled at This Time.

To register for any of these classes, complete the online form in the right sidebar or call 287-5600 and ask to sign up for a research class. Pre-registration is required for these classes due to limited space.

Check this page often for up-to-date class listings. We look forward to seeing you!

Further Assistance:

The Maine State Library provides equal access in its programs and services. If you need accommodations, please contact Reference at 287-5600.

Scheduling classes for groups:

If you would like to schedule one of these classes for a group (your friends, co-workers, classmates, club members, etc.) and none of the times or topics shown here meets your needs, we may be able to arrange a time just for you. A minimum of 5 participants is required.

Suggested class topics include Evaluating Web Sources, Using the MARVEL Databases, or Establishing News Alerts.

Please contact Reference at 287-5600 or at to arrange for a group class.

Class Descriptions

In the Beginning, Part 1, Starting Genealogy, (1 - 2 hours)

Explore the basics of genealogical research. Discover the resources that the Maine State Library has to offer, including free access to Ancestry and HeritageQuest, plus family histories, vital records, Maine Old Cemetery Association records and much, much more. Research using the computerized catalog will be included. Start your family research with confidence!

In the Beginning, Part 2, Finding Your Roots, (1 ½ - 2 hours)

In this class we’ll continue the basics we started with and spend more time using the card catalog, URSUS, through exercises and practice. Then we’ll have a tour of the main floor of the library, emphasizing the areas and sources that would be most useful to a genealogist. The last part will be a “scavenger hunt”, with participants drawing assignments from a hat; hopefully, all will return triumphantly with treasures!

In the Beginning Part 3: Branching Out on the Web, (1 1/2 - 2 hours)

Some of the best genealogical resources on the Internet will be covered in this last part of our introductory genealogy classes. Some of the sites and databases covered will include, Social Security Death Index,, HeritageQuest and the Maine State Archives’ marriage and death listings. Let’s find those elusive relatives!

Working with Library Edition

This edition contains over 4,000 databases of vital records from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, plus a few other countries. Major categories include census and voter lists, military records, immigration and naturalization records, court and probate, historical newspapers, church registers, maps and atlases, and the Social Security Death Index. is generally regarded as the largest online collection, with information added continually.

This class will highlight search tools and point out other useful features of advanced search, special collections, geographical location, and Ancestry’s Card Catalog. There are even charts and forms available for download! We’ll also show participants how to print their findings to best advantage.

Web 2.0

This course is designed to present an overview of the Internet. Following individual student’s areas of interest the class will cover:

  • Finding and evaluating web sites; and
  • Establishing a personal web presence via email and social networking.

Word Processing: Getting started with Word 2010

In this class you will learn how to create a document in Microsoft Office 2010, use templates, write and proofread a letter, save and retrieve your work. This course will be of special interest to individuals who use the Maine State Library as their primary computer access point since this is the version of Microsoft Office on all public computers.

Register for a Class

  • Please only register for a class currently offered.
  • You may register for more than one course.
  • Please call Reference at 287-5600 for group registration.
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