Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cataloging and Keeping a Wish List

So I've just started working with the Professional Genealogy study group and we are now working on our third practical assignment. This month our assignment is to catalog our home library and start a list of resources that you would like to add to your library in the future. One of the more discouraging aspects of genealogy is that you are often not living in the locale of your ancestors making it difficult to access records vital to your ability to conduct an "exhaustive" search for information. The increasing availability of records through digitizing projects, often undertaken by local genealogy groups/historical societies, etc., helps to ease this frustration a bit but there is still a long way to go. Another way to deal with the location issue is to keep a home library with references for the locations you are working with. Oftentimes you'll find that there have been published guide book and even editions of vital records for a county and these are a great help to the long-distance genealogist. Published histories shouldn't necessarily be used as primary sources, they are not a replacement for original documents, but they can be a great way to find what you need. If you see something in a published work, with a source citation, you can order a copy of the record yourself.

So now I bet you're wondering how you find out about these published sources. I've found the best way is to scour the Library of Congress catalog at . This should not be thought of as a complete list, but it is definitely a great start. Another place to look is . Between these two sites you should be able to gather a pretty great wish list. Mine is about 4 notebook pages long! LOL!

1 comment:

  1. I use WorldCat to find materials. I then save them to lists I've created (e.g., Connecticut Genealogy) so I have a running list of sources that I want to check out some day. I've tried to do inter-library loans for some, but in many cases thus far, they are unable to obtain them mostly because they are classified as reference and not available for loan. But someday, I will get my hands on them!! :)