Obituary Searching Policy

ID#: 
PL_236
Supersedes/Appends/Amends: 
New

Statement of Policy & Text

San Jose Public Library offers free do-it-yourself obituary-searching options to California and out-of-state residents.

Four free do-it-yourself obituary searching options are available:

  1. San Jose residents and other customers can visit the King Library and conduct their own newspaper database and microfilm searches.
  2. Residents of other California cities should contact their local public library for assistance in obtaining free obituary searches via California State second-level reference networks.
  3. The Santa Clara County Library District provides a free, three per month, obituary/death notice search request service.
  4. Out-of-area customers can contact their closest public library with microfilm reading equipment and request the Interlibrary Loan of newspaper microfilm from the California State Library.

 

Need for the Policy

Since the King Library receives requests for obituary notices from researchers all over the country, this is a high demand need for our customers.

Requirements & Guidelines

Reference librarians and staff will explain the free ‘do-it-yourself’ obituary search and delivery options to customers.

  • Out-of-state customers.
    • ‘Do-it-yourselfers’ should contact their closest public library with microfilm reading equipment and request the Interlibrary Loan of newspaper microfilm from the California State Library.
    • The Santa Clara County Library District provides a free, three per month, obituary/death notice search request service.
      • They perform searches only for persons whose obituary appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, or in the local community newspaper for Santa Clara County. Please review their newspaper holdings page for specific newspaper titles and dates available before submitting your request.
      • They cannot guarantee that they will find the information you request.
      • More information is available on their website http://www.sccl.org/about/contact-us/obituary-search-assistance
  • San Jose residents.
    • San Jose residents are invited to visit the King Library and conduct a do-it-yourself obituary search.
      • The Library’s guide How to Research San Jose Area Obituaries provides guidance in conducting an obituary search using newspaper database and microfilm resources.
      • Printing from microfilm and newspaper database sources is available in the King Library.
      • Customers who visit the King Library will receive staff assistance as needed.
    • The Santa Clara County Library District provides a free, three per month, obituary/death notice search request service.
      • They perform searches only for persons whose obituary appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, or in the local community newspaper for Santa Clara County. Please review their newspaper holdings page for specific newspaper titles and dates available before submitting your request.
      • They cannot guarantee that they will find the information you request.
      • More information is available on their website http://www.sccl.org/about/contact-us/obituary-search-assistance
  • Residents of other California cities.
    • Residents of nearby cities may visit the King Library and conduct a do-it-yourself obituary search.
    • For a free search, contact your local public library for assistance in obtaining obituaries via California State second-level reference networks.
    • ‘Do-it-yourselfers’ may also contact their closest public library with microfilm reading equipment and request the Interlibrary Loan of newspaper microfilm from the California State Library.
    • The Santa Clara County Library District provides a free, three per month, obituary/death notice search request service.
      • They perform searches only for persons whose obituary appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, or in the local community newspaper for Santa Clara County. Please review their newspaper holdings page for specific newspaper titles and dates available before submitting your request.
      • They cannot guarantee that they will find the information you request.
      • More information is available on their website http://www.sccl.org/about/contact-us/obituary-search-assistance

Applicable Personnel/Departments

All Library Staff especially, Reference

Distributions

BOTH

Approval(s)

Reviewed and approved by: Signature/Name Date of Approval
SJSU Co-Unit Head, Reference    Sandra Belanger    6/3/05   
SJPL Co-Unit Head, Reference    Joan Bowlby    6/3/05   
SJSU Co-Unit Head, Reference  Lorene Sisson  6/16/06 

History & Dates

Category of Policy:User Services
Author(s): SJPL Reference Librarian, Lauren Miranda Gilbert
Authorized by: KMT 5/7/03
Date Written: 8/30/02
Date Effective: 8/1/03
Date(s) of Revision(s): 12/12/03, 4/9/05;6/1/05ec/lmg;1/01/06; 1/17/06; 6/16/06 jb

References

A. System Reference Center
B. How to Research San Jose Area Obituaries