Terry Punch Research Library

The Research Room is open to members and the public during open hours. Please consult the GANS website for scheduled open hours to ensure availability. We operate entirely with Volunteers, so it is always a good idea to check ahead. If you have any inquiries, please phone 902-454-0322.
Besides the main library collection you will find:
  • two computers
  • a printer
  • Copy services 
  • Free WIFI (password provided on site)
  • Free onsite access  to  Find My Past.
  • Property Online on one computer ($5.00 for half day use)
  • Chronicle-Herald Obituary Index 1961-1999 (about 500,000 records) on computer
All materials in the Research Room are reference use only and are not available for loan. The main collection consists of genealogical guides, handbooks, reference sources, family and local histories and other books and materials that focus on Nova Scotia and the origins of the peoples who live or have lived here. GANS would be very pleased to accept donations of family histories.
Library records can be easily searched using the ONLINE LIBRARY CATALOGUE
A quickly growing number of duplicate books have been designated as our circulating collection and may be borrowed by our Canadian members. They are kept in a separate bookcase outside the Research Room. You can look for them in the library catalogue by searching the Call Number field for the term CIRC”:
 The Search Type "Call Number" is highlighted in yellow. Next to the Search Type, the Search term CIRC is highlighted in yellow.
Items can be borrowed for a four-week loan and may be renewed twice. Due to the small size of the collection, there is a borrowing limit of 3 items per person.

Local members can borrow items while at the library during our open hours, or:
  • search the library catalogue from home,
  • email library@novascotiaancestors.com with your requests,
  • then arrange to come and pick them up at the office, either during our open hours or by appointment.
For Canadian members who cannot come to the GANS office due to distance (outside 100 km) you can:
  • search the library catalogue from home
  • email library@novascotiaancestors.com with your requests, along with your full mailing address,
  • then we can mail your requested items directly to you, return postage paid by GANS.
We are very sorry but circulation by mail is not currently available to members outside Canada, primarily due to the high cost of postage. Upon request, we can search for locations near you that carry the titles you are interested in. 
The catalogue is searchable by title, author or keyword. You can search from home or at the Library.  The website module for the catalogue allows searchers to find materials in both print and electronic formats. 
The catalogue can be searched using the following drop down menu selections:
Regions (lists specific regions to select to narrow down your search)
Subject (key word subject listings can be selected to narrow down your search)
Surname (surnames are not inclusive for all materials in the collection)
You can also enter your own search terms using:
Call Number (GANS books are classified using the Library of Congress system; you can search by a portion of the call number, e.g. CIRC, VF (Vertical File), etc.)
Description (not all materials have a description)
Surname (not as useful as the fixed menu Surname search)
All Listed Fields (can search all the above fields at one time; recommend using a single word or a phrase for best results)
Unless you are looking for a specific title, begin with a broad search by using several terms. Too many results? Narrow it down to a key word or surname.  Also, as you select more search parameters and narrow down your search, your results will be more specific.