Monday, August 26, 2013

Maybe it's not a wall exactly, but just an opaque fog

So my last post was a complete downer. Not surprising really since I've been so lost with my genealogical progress lately. The problem of how to beat the stagnation that's taken up residence with my career trajectory is one that has just left me completely befuddled. But in venting about things, it helped me to brainstorm a bit. Maybe the solution actually can be found in the statement that I thought was the epitome of my problem; how to acquire the additional skills necessary to be successful in a certification application. If I look at those skills, one by one, I can try to figure out where I'm lacking. It makes a lot more sense to try and look at things that way rather than trying to guess what I need and try to fill each of those rather ambiguous holes. So I thought it might be helpful, for myself and for others as well, to just take another look at what is involved in the application portfolio. I've looked at it before, many times, but never with my eyes on what I need to do and whether I feel confident with each individual part.

To start with, for those unfamiliar with the CG credential, it is a credential awarded by the BCG or, Board for Certification of Genealogists. The credential is given upon completion and acceptance of a portfolio of work which shows a variety of knowledge, experience, and work which exhibits an adherence to the the BCG standards as mentioned in the BCG Genealogical Standards Manual and as such, to the The Genealogical Proof Standard. In all honesty, the GPS could be given its own blog. It's a subject which people can talk about and tear apart and dissect for ages. In fact, I'm currently taking a course where we are studying a new book specifically about the GPS right now (so you can probably expect posts on that coming soon as well). At its core however, the GPS is basically just a set of 5 elements through which you can show that you have sufficiently proven your conclusion. If you have gone through the process and worked within the GPS, you should have:

~ done a "reasonably exhaustive search" within the sources available
~formed citations for each piece of information that you have derived from the sources
~correlated all of your sources
~resolved any conflicts that turned up as a result of your search through sources
~written up your findings

I fully expect to see some comments either saying that I'm wrong here or building upon what I've written, but really, that's about the most concise way I can sum it up, as I understand it.  And with that, since the GPS and all of its intricacies aren't the subject of this particular post, I'm moving on :)

So that is what your portfolio should exhibit. Now on to the nitty gritty...

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