Longtime Newberry employee Grace Dumelle received an Anton J. Cermak Genealogy Builder Award May 21, 2016, from the Czech & Slovak American Genealogical Society of Illinois. “This award was created to honor those who promote our culture and/or genealogy,” explained president Sue Rolsky.
“Grace is a great asset to the Chicago genealogical community through her work as a researcher, author and speaker.” Dumelle’s Finding Your Chicago Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide to Family History in the City and Cook County received state, regional and national awards for instructional nonfiction. It is in its second printing from Lake Claremont Press and is a staple at the Newberry Bookstore.
“I thank the Society for its support of authors,” complimented Dumelle at the award presentation. “CSAGSI’s record for books sold at one of my appearances stood for eleven years.” The Society’s own publications in the Newberry’s Bohemian Genealogy pathfinder are in heavy use at the Newberry’s second floor reading room, particularly Locations of Chicago Roman Catholic Churches 1850-1990. The large, active and friendly group celebrated its twentieth anniversary earlier this year.
An assistant in the Reference and Genealogy Services Section, Dumelle guides genealogy patrons of all levels, answers reference queries, manages the Newberry’s loan program with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and processes donations of genealogical materials with the help of ace volunteer Melisa Limanowski. Dumelle’s research interests lie in lesser-known records and methodology. Her articles on Illinois state hospital records, posted on the library’s Genealogy Blog, continue to shed light on a sensitive topic.
Among her activities this summer will be leading a house history workshop for the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society and helping represent the Newberry with her colleagues at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Springfield, Illinois.