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Hardly a week goes by without a phone call, an e-mail message, or a visit from a patron who is looking for a patent issued to a family member. Often, the patron does not have complete information, and sometimes has nothing more than a name and a notion that Grandpa once invented something. This article describes some strategies that can be used by Librarians to assist patrons in historical patent research. It, additionally, includes a list of sources and highlights special materials that are available at Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries.


This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Science & Technology Libraries, v.22:no. 1 / 2, 2001, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:"