One may have to go to a University or College to get information or you may be able to access from home with your old college I D.
Some one said that you can access some data with out an I D. I hope to know more before the evening chat. Needing to refresh from my notes from past talk.
JSTOR searches, magazines, pamphlets and journals for information. Maybe your ancestor was a Dr and you want data on him or maybe he was a Lawyer or a Judge.
One can never tell what one may find when researching in our past.
Knowing that my ancestor Henry Huffman (Hoffman after 1860's) listed himself as a farmer.
He was anything but a farmer. He build many bridges, churches, schools and homes plus he build the first free standing spiral stairway and I have the newspaper clipping that describes the house and stairs.
Here are some interesting links you may want to share.
genealogy book links