Mesa County Genealogical Society

MCGS Library

The Mesa County Genealogical Society (MCGS)library collection has been growing since the 1980's through society purchases and the donations of society and community members. Because of this, it is a very diverse collection which includes materials that cover a wide variety subjects and areas.

The collection is housed on the second floor of the Museum of the West, located at 462 Ute Ave., Grand Junction, Colorado.

At this time access to the library is by 'Appointment Only' on Thursday from 12:15 pm to 4 pm.

To contact the MCGS Librarian please use the email link to the Librarian on the MCGS Contact webpage.

The MCGS Library Catalog link below will help you locate the appropriate book for your research goal.

March 2024 - For the next few months we will be (on a limited basis) trying out a 'MCGS member only' lending program.

MCGS Collection
MCGS Library Collection
MCGS Collection
MCGS Library Collection Example - Scottish/Irish

The MCGS Collection online catalog is located on 'LibraryThing'

(updated 23 Jan 2024)

Click here for the MCGS Library Catalog

Tips for using the Online Catalog

  • 'All Collections' is the default view.
  • 'Your Library' is the MCGS collection located in the Library.
  • There are about 425 items in the collection.
  • Each column can be sorted by clicking on the column header.
  • You can search the MCGS Library collection using the 'Search this library' search box. DO NOT use the 'Search LibraryThing' search box as that option will search the entire LibraryThing databases.
  • Your search will locate the term in any column of the MCGS database (including terminology related to the call number). To limit searches to only one column, use the drop-down list.
  • Clear your search by clicking the 'x' located on the left side of the screen (i.e. 'Search: your search term' [x]).

  • Hints for the 'Periodicals' and 'Books' Removed catalog items

  • The 'Periodicals' and 'Books' removed collections are the items removed when the library was downsized. The 'Comments' section on these collections give alternative options for accessing those items. Some access is online, and some can be found in other libraries.

    Using the PERSI index

    • Can be found on the 'FindMyPast' website.
    • Scroll to bottom of page to 'Search Family Records' > click on 'Newspapers & Periodicals' > Click 'PERiodical Source Index'
    • Periodical results can be narrowed by options listed.

    Other periodical online access options

    • Click on links within comment section in the catalog collection.
    • Options included: FHL online; Google Books; HathiTrust;

    Hints for finding books or periodicals on

    • Login to your account (or create a free account if you haven't already done so).
    • Click 'Search' > 'Catalog'
    • Search by 'Titles', 'Author' or 'Keywords'. I have had the best luck using 'Keyword' or 'Author last name'.

    MCGS Library History

    The initial discussions regarding the possibility of creating a Mesa County Genealogical Society (MCGS) Library were held in 1982, just a few years after the creation of the society. Suggestions for the acquisition of materials included member donations. The first librarian was Alice Devine one of the founding members. During this time books were being donated to the Mesa County Public Library for their genealogy section.

    In 1984, Dorothy Inscho became the MCGS Librarian and served for twelve years until 1996. It was during this time that the "Birthday Box" was established as a way for the society to purchase books for the MCGS library. Periodically a list of possible titles was submitted to the MCGS members who then voted on those titles they felt should be included. The library collection was housed at "The Ancestor Shop" located at 1460 North Ave, (in the 15th and North Plaza). This was a business run by Phyllis George, a member of the Mesa County Genealogical Society. Many books were added to the library during this time including purchases and donations. By early 1993 the Ancestor Shop was only open by appointment, and at the end of 1993 when the shop was closed the entire MCGS collection of 248 books, periodicals, and newsletters was moved into temporary storage.

    In 1994 an agreement was signed with the Museums of Western Colorado, Loyd Files Research Library to provide an area within the library to house the MCGS collection, and the books in storage were moved to the library.

    In 1996 after twelve years as librarian, Dorothy stepped down and Gloria Heitsman became the MCGS Librarian. Gloria served as librarian for ten years until 2006 when Karen Merritt Sturgill became the interim librarian, serving until 2008 when family and career obligations required stepping away from all MCGS positions.

    At that time two members, Kay Oxer and Linda Garey, became co-librarians and with the assistance of volunteer Judi Maki the library began the reorganization and cataloging of a collection that was steadily growing. The decision was made to arrange the library in the same classification system used by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. This was a massive project that continued during the years Kay and Linda were the librarians and continued when member Connie Bunte took over the duties of Librarian in 2017 and along with her committee, Laurie Buniger and Stella Ledbetter, created a catalog that was placed online on the Mesa County Genealogical Society website.

    In 2020 Karen Merritt Sturgill took over once again as the MCGS Librarian and as of 2022 the MCGS collection has been downsized and re-organized.

    Much of our collection can now be accessed online on various websites or through inter-library loan and the decision was made to remove from the collection those materials that can be accessed in other ways. However the LibraryThing catalog for the MCGS Library includes those items and links (if online) or descriptions of where they can be found.

    The downsized collection (encompassing six bookcases) is available by appointment only as detailed above. The new updated catalogs have been created with LibraryThing online for the benefit of MCGS members, the Museum of the West employees and visitors, and Mesa County community members. As always, the collection will be non-circulating and will need to be used within the library.

    Some of this history was created from MCGS Newsletter articles.

    Note on volunteer options at the MCGS Library: The contract for housing our collection with the Museum of the West relies on some MCGS volunteer hours. You can review the 'MoW Collections Volunteer Description' and 'General Projects' here. To volunteer at the Museum of the West please use this on-line application and note in the comments that you are volunteering as part of MCGS.

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