Mesa County Genealogical Society

MCGS Library

The Mesa County Genealogical Society Library (MCGS) is housed within the Loyd Files Research Library on the second floor of the Museum of the West, located at 462 Ute Ave., Grand Junction, Colorado. The Loyd Files Research Library is in the process of being re-evaluated and re-indexed; research table space within the library is very limited.

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

These hours may be expanded in the future.

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.

To use the Mesa County Genealogical Society Library please use the email link to the MCGS Librarian on the MCGS Contact webpage.

If possible, please use the MCGS Library Catalog link below to search for the materials you would like to use and let the MCGS Librarian know in your appointment request email.

Loyd Files Interiot
Loyd Files Research Library

The Mesa County Genealogical Society 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.

Online Catalog - Powered by LibraryThing

(updated 21 Feb 2022)

Click here for the MCGS Library Catalog

Online Catalog Tips

  • 'All Collections' is the default view.
  • Collections include 'Periodicals Removed', 'Books Removed' and 'Your Library' which is the MCGS collection housed within Loyd Files Research Library.
  • 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 Site' search box. That option will search all of the LibraryThing databases.
  • Clear your search by clicking the 'x' located on the left side of the screen (i.e. 'Search: all:' 'your search term').
  • The 'Periodicals Removed' and 'Books Removed' lists include other access options in the 'Comments' section.

    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'.

    A 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 now, as the Loyd Files Research Library begins reorganization, it has become clear that the collection (now over 1,000 items) will need to be downsized and re-organized.

    Much of our collection can now be accessed online or through inter-library loan and the decision has been made to remove from the collection those materials that can be accessed in other ways. They are first being offered to our members, then the Montrose [Colorado] Genealogical Society, and then the balance will be donated to the Friends of the Mesa County Public Library.

    The downsized collection (which will encompass about six bookcases) will still be available in the future, and new updated catalogs are being prepared and will be placed 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.

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