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Sunday, April 27, 2008

HIT THE BOOKS!

I was struck with a sudden realization today and had one of
those "DUH, why didn't I think of that sooner?" moments.

I know for many of us the term "bibliography" brings back
painful memories of slaving over term papers and reports
and keeping 3x5 index card lists of the books we'd used in
ourresearch to be organized into our bibliographies.


But fellow geneabloggers, I'm here to tell you: bibliographies
are our friends!


Try this. Go to your bookcase and take out any book you
might have on some period of history.(And I'm pretty sure
most of us have at least one book dealing with some part
of our ancestral history, if not many.) Then do something you
probably rarely have done (I know I haven't): turn to the
rear of the book and look for a bibliography. Besides the other
books the author has used in his or her research, there also
often is a list of magazine articles, or even better, first hand
accounts such as letters, diaries or journals. You might find
something that pertains to an event your ancestors were part
of such as a battle in the Revolution or a description of the
conditions and everyday life in the town they lived in.

Where did the author find these sources? Might that
historical society or museum or library that you didn't know
about before have more material that might help in your
research? Make a list of the titles and sources that interest
you and then try searching online. Who knows what
helpful information you might discover?


And if you don't have any pertinent books at home, then
borrow them from the local library or buy one at the local
bookstore. A good history book can help you to better
understand the challenges your relatives faced in their lives.


Yes, computers are great. But here somebody has already
gone and made lists of things for their books that can help
your genealogy research. Take advantage of it! I plan to do
it!

3 comments:

Miriam said...

GREAT idea, Bill!

Laura said...

That is such a great idea - i am going to do this. Thank you, Bill!

Lori Thornton said...

I love compiling bibliographies. I was probably meant to be a librarian for that reason! LOL