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The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library was opened in 1982. The library is named for and dedicated to J. Erik Jonsson, the late esteemed mayor of Dallas, whose leadership and interest culminated in securing funding for building the library.
The collection has been enlarged and reorganized through the fundraising efforts of the Dallas Genealogical Society and in-kind donations to both the library and the City of Dallas. Mr. Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck, supervisor from 1973 until his retirement from the library in 2009, led the Dallas Public Library's genealogy section to recognition nation-wide as one of the most comprehensive collections for family history research, largely due to his membership in many hereditary and genealogy societies, frequent speaking engagements, and his participation in genealogical education programs.
Every effort has been made to develop a collection of international and national scope. All States within the United States and many foreign countries are represented in this collection in the form of books, microfilm, microfiche and maps.
The Genealogy book collection is arranged in sections of Genealogies, Countries and by U.S. States (see the Genealogy floor map). The library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification System. The collection is open shelf with some books in our Limited Access area.
Access to the collection is provided through the use of our up-to-date traditional card catalog in the Genealogy Section or by using the library's on-line catalog. The Genealogy card catalog is arranged by United States, State, County, Foreign Countries and Genealogies. It is also possible to access the on-line catalog at http://dallaslibrary.org. Users should be aware that many microfilm and microfiche records do not appear in the on-line catalog at this time. This online guide is intended to provide access to some of the materials that are available in microform.