Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to Find Free Public Domain E-books

Terrebonne Parish Library offers a wide range of e-books you can download to your computer or electronic device. Because most of these books are copyrighted, we purchase them, just like print books; and you check them out for a limited amount of time, just like print books. But not all books are copyrighted. In fact, most of the world's great classics are now in the public domain.

Generally speaking, any book published before 1923 is in the public domain in the United States. This means the works of Plato, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, and thousands of other authors can be obtained online--legally and for free. Terrebonne Parish Library's E-Library page offers access to thousands of free public domain books, in partnership with Project Gutenberg, one of the largest repositories of public domain books. Just click the link on the the left side of the page that looks like this:

This will take you to a page that lets you search for books by keyword. If you want to search by title or author, you may want to go to Project Gutenberg itself. Simply search for the author or title you want to read. For example, if you searched for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, you would find several different versions of the book. Clicking on the top one takes you to a page that looks like this:

This shows all the different file formats the book is available in. You can click on HTML to read the book on your computer, but most e-book readers are more compatible with PDF and EPUB ebooks. EPUB is usually the best choice for readers such as the Nook and Sony Reader, because it is designed specifically for e-readers. If you have a Kindle, there is usually a Kindle-formatted version available. Each e-reader works a little differently, and there are so many of them that it is impossible to explain how to download free e-books in a blog post. However, it is usually easy to find instructions online for each device.

Of course, Project Gutenberg is just one of the most famous providers of free e-books. There are many others, of varying quality, which can be found online. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Sony Reader store also have sections devoted to free ebooks. These include public domain books, as well as copyrighted works that are being given away, usually by new authors who are trying to get their work noticed. These also vary in quality, but there is always the possibility of discovering a great new author.

If you need help downloading public domain ebooks, just give the Reference Department a call at 876-1733, option 2.

Happy free e-reading!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

South Louisiana Vital Family Records v. 14 Released


The 14th volume of the South Louisiana Vital Family Records series compiled and published by the Terrebonne Genealogical Society has just arrived! This most recent book covers the years 1942-1943 and contains abstractions of marriage bonds and licenses held by the offices of the Clerks of Court for Assumption, Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes.

The book is cross-indexed by the family names of the bride and the groom. If parents are named are in the original documents, their names are noted in parentheses. A complete citation follows each record so the researcher can easily find a copy of the original in the relevant courthouse.

The series, which begins with records from 1902-1905, is available from the Terrebonne Parish Genealogical Society; P. O. Box 20295; Houma LA 70360, at a cost of $30 a volume plus $3 postage. Terrebonne Parish Library’s genealogy collection holds multiple copies of each volume. Library staff will happily show you where they’re shelved and how to use them.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lafourche Heritage Society Seminar, August 6, Schedule of Events

Envie Banquet Facility, Thibodaux, Louisiana
Saturday, August 6, 2011
$28, payable at the door, but lunch will not be included.

8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.:
Registration, coffee,
Visit with book vendors & displays.


9:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.:

9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.:
First session:
Neil Guilbeau
U.S. Veterans of Southeast Louisiana: An Oral History

10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.:
Half hour coffee break,
Visit with book vendors & displays.

10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.:
Second session:
Jay M. Schexnaydre
Old Creole Families of River Road

11:30 a.m. to noon;
Break to allow Envie staff
to set up buffet tables.
Visit with book vendors & displays.

Noon to 1:15 p.m.:
Buffet Lunch
(For pre-registrants)


1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.:
Third session:
Emilie “Lee” Gagnet Leumas, PhD
Catholicism and French in Louisiana

2:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.:
Coffee break & visit with displays.

2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.:
Fourth session:
Christopher E. Cenac, Sr., M.D.
The History of the Cenac Family and the Early Oyster Industry in Terrebonne Parish

3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lafouche Heritage Society Seminar

The 35th Annual History and Genealogy Seminar presented by the Lafourche Heritage Society will take place this Saturday, August 6th, at Envie Restaurant, 203 North Canal Boulevard, Thibodaux, Louisiana. Coffee and registration begin at 8:30 a.m.; the seminar will end at approximately 4:30 p.m. The restaurant is located next to the Howard Johnson motel, near the intersection of Canal Boulevard and Bayou Lafourche.

The cost of the seminar is $28, which can be paid at the door. Those who register and pay their fees before the end of the day, August 3rd, will be entitled to a buffet lunch. Email or

The four speakers will be Dr. Christopher E. Cenac, Sr., local physician and author; Emilie Gagnet Leumas, Ph.D., Director of Archives and Records for the Archdiocese of New Orleans; Jay M. Schexnaydre, president of the Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans; and Neil J. Guilbeau, Assistant Archivist at Nicholls State University.

Organizers have not announced the order of speakers, but the presentations will begin at approximately 9 and 10: 30 a.m., 1:30 and 3 p.m. When you come, bring your charts and other displays; there will be space to show and share.