Enter the Miami Public Library's Website and the past comes alive - for genealogists.

Heritage Quest Online provides a unique, growing collection of research materials for tracing families and history.

It recently became available to anyone with a library card for the Miami Public Library.

Heritage Quest Online is financed by the Friends of the Library.

“The information that Heritage Quest Online provides is very helpful, said Barbara Becker, genealogy librarian. “But, for those who have access to a computer and for whatever reason cannot leave their home, it's really important.

Call up the Miami Public Library's Web site at miami.lib.ok.us/new_page_4.htm and open the genealogy file.

The first time one enters Heritage Quest one must enter their library card number and their name. Afterward, all that will be required to enter Heritage Quest will be the library card number.

“We've had access to it in the library for about a month, Becker said. “We had to work a few bugs out before we offered it to the public, but people in the building have already found it useful.

Those without access to a computer at home can use the ones at the library.

Materials available on Heritage Quest Online include:

ProQuest's genealogy and local history collection of more than 20,000 searchable family and local history books.

U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1930 including the page images for the entire census. They may be searched by name, place of birth, age and other variables.

The PERSI (Periodical Source Index) comprehensively covers more than 6,500 genealogy and local periodicals since 1800.

Freedman's Bank Records include more than 100,000 bank depositors and almost half a million of their dependants and heirs dating from the close of the Civil War to 1874.

Revolutionary War pension and bounty land warrant application files giving detailed records of more than 80,000 individuals who served during the Revolutionary War. They contain genealogical and historical information. Each veteran's file usually contains six or more pages of information.

“Having access to some of these records can be invaluable to genealogy research, Becker said.

The genealogy department had more than 1,200 visitors last year, according to Becker.

“More and more are becoming interested every day, she said.

The library will host a workshop on the use of the computer in genealogy at 6 p.m. Jan. 30.

Pattie Billings will introduce the participants to the use of the computer in general and Becker will discuss using the computer in genealogy research, specifically the use of Heritage Quest Online.

Space is limited and reservations are required.

For more information or to make a reservation, call the library at 541-2292.