Genealogy and Local History Collection Development


Materials in the collection may be used without restrictions within the genealogy and reading room.  Genealogy materials cannot be checked out. Since genealogy materials are rare, careful handling of the materials is encouraged.

Scope of the Collection

The role of the genealogy collection is to provide the residents of St. Tammany Parish, as well as visitors to the Parish, with the resources necessary to conduct lineage, historical, and cultural research. Primary consideration for the selection of materials will be given to records pertaining to the Parishes of Louisiana. Materials will be reviewed for potential value to the collection. The following selection criteria will also be considered:

  • The relevance of the item to our patrons and to local history
  • The cost to preserve, store, and process the incoming item
  • The availability of space to accommodate the item
  • The condition of the item in terms of ease of use for researchers and genealogists
  • The factualness of the item
  • The physical condition of the item
  • The completeness of an item, especially for multi-volume publications

This policy will apply to materials suggested for purchase as well as donations. The Library reserves the right to purchase or remove materials from the collection that do not meet these criteria.


Donations are welcomed to our collection. Donations should be free of mold, mildew, and insect infestation. Items donated to the library must not violate copyright law. The Library reserves the right to place donated materials in the collection that fall within the scope of the collection. All donors must complete a donation form in order to establish the transfer of ownership of donated materials (and copyright, if appropriate) to the Library. Once items are donated, they become the property of the St. Tammany Parish Library.

The Library reserves the right to decide how the donated material will be displayed, stored, used by the public, and how long the material will be retained. Please note that the Library does not assign value to donated items or provide donation documentation for tax purposes.

Reappraisal and Deaccession

The St. Tammany Parish Library focuses on acquiring items that fall within the scope of the collection and meet the selection criteria. Our goal is to store, preserve, and make available all items that become a part of the genealogy collection. When possible, the Library will take under advisement the suggestions of our partner organizations when making decisions regarding the collection. However, the Library may reappraise the collection from time to time and some items may be deaccessioned. The genealogy librarian, head of reference services, and a member of the library administration will evaluate materials proposed for deaccessioning. The Library will offer deaccessioned materials to other institutions, donate them to the Friends of the Library, or discard them.


Interlibrary Loan Services


Since many special collections libraries and archives tend to limit their lending of genealogical and reference materials, it may be difficult to acquire these materials through interlibrary loan. The St. Tammany Parish Library will do its best to procure genealogical materials requested through interlibrary loan; however, we cannot guarantee that the library will be able to successfully acquire every requested item. All interlibrary loan books and microfilm reels must be used in the genealogy room to ensure careful handling of the material.

Alternatively, many libraries may agree to make copies of a portion of a book or other material. The Genealogy Department can help library patrons request copies from lending libraries, however, the library patron will be responsible for all research and copy costs charged by the lending library. The genealogy librarian will contact the patron to discuss all fees associated with this service before ordering materials through interlibrary loan. Please consult the Genealogy Department for the handling of these requests.


Search & Copy Services


The St. Tammany Parish Library offers limited search services (obituary, articles, historical information) as well as assistance with online databases, a tour of the collection, microfilm reader assistance, and help with printing issues. Patrons can visit or call our reference librarian, Germaine, at (985) 893-6280 ext. 4006 or email their request to genealogy-covington@stpl.us.

Limited search services will be performed in the order of receipt of the requests. Please allow approximately 2 weeks or more for a response. 

We will provide the best copy possible from our collection. We cannot guarantee complete legibility of photocopies or reproductions from microfilm due to the quality of some of the records.

Requests should include as much information as possible to aid in locating the desired information in a timely manner. Please indicate your preferred method of contact (telephone consultation, email verification with attached files, or walk-in service) and provide the necessary contact information.

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