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A Genealogist In The Archives

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

National DNA Day 2017!

Today is the day!

April 25, 2017 is National DNA Day!

Thomas MacEntee's brand new website for National DNA Day will help us learn more about DNA testing, resources for DNA research and so much more, go check it out!

https://nationaldnaday.com/about/








Also, some great books that have come out recently on DNA will help any genealogist find their way through the DNA lingo and what it all means to you.

Blaine T. Bettinger has published two new books in the past year that are a must have for any genealogist that has done their DNA:

http://amzn.to/2oI7eKm
















 


Also, this one that he co-wrote with Debbie Parker Wayne:

http://amzn.to/2peFI8k


















So, celebrate the first ever National DNA 2017!

REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!

******

JUST RELEASED! 
Legacy QuickGuide
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1815



Monday, April 24, 2017

Preservation Week 2017!

This week, April 23-29, 2017, is Preservation Week!

This event is an initiative of ALCTS, a division of the American Library Association. Visit the American Library Association's Preservation Week website at:
http://www.ala.org/alcts/preservationweek



What can you as a genealogist do during preservation to extend the life of your most precious documents? Here are some tips:

  • Store genealogical and historical records in areas where the temperature and humidity do not fluctuate to extreme. Keeping records at a regular temperature and low humidity will prolong the life of genealogical records.
  •  Minimize handling of genealogy records. Digitizing as many records as possible will allow you to safely store the records and not handle them.
  • Store all records in archival safe document sleeves, file folders and boxes. 
  • Do not store records or display them in direct sunlight. The sunlight will fade any documents or photographs to the point they can not longer be read or seen.
 These are just a few tips to get you started with preserving your most precious genealogical and historical records. If we take the steps to preserve our records, out descendants will be very grateful.



REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AND ARCHIVE TODAY!!


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NEW! JUST RELEASED!

Legacy QuickGuide

Scrap Paper and Orphan Documents in Archives
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1815 








Thursday, April 13, 2017

Unprecedented Access to Legacy Family Tree Webinars!

On Monday, April 10, 2017, Legacy Family Tree Webinars announced they will be airing their 500th Webinar on Friday, April 14, 2017. They also announced that starting Friday, April 14, 2017 and extending through Sunday, April 16, 2017, they are going to unlock the membership key of the webinar library and allow FREE ACCESS to all 500 webinars!



This FREE access is the first time Legacy Family Tree Webinars has opened up all of it's webinars for FREE viewing. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this FREE viewing and watch as many webinars as you can!

You can read all about the history of Legacy Family Tree Webinars here:
http://news.legacyfamilytree.com/legacy_news/2017/04/the-journey-to-webinar-500-plus-free-access-this-weekend.html

Among the 500 webinars on their site, I have 6 very educational webinars about researching in archives and records preservation. They are:


Metal Paper Clips, Rubber Bands and Tape, OH MY!
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1614
















Researching in Libraries and Archives: The Do's and Don'ts
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1142 

















It's Not All Online: Researching in Archives
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1145 

















Vertical Files: What Are They and How To Use Them
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1167 

















Preserving Old Family Letters: Tips from an Archivist
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1168 

















Scrapbooks: A Genealogist's Gold Mine
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1161 




 













REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Scrap Paper Found in Archives

How many of you have scrap paper in your genealogical records?

By that I mean, pieces of paper that have notes, numbers or other information jotted down by an ancestor that makes no sense to you, right now, but nevertheless is part of your genealogical records.

Maybe you have receipts, invoices or other scrap documents that you just can't figure out what they mean or how they fit into your family history.

Well, archives have the same type records and genealogists should be seeking them out.

Misc. Receipts, Houston County, TN. Archives


Most archives are known for their well organized and processed records that are in archival boxes and archival file folders. Most of the time, each document has a place in a larger collection of records that the archivist will catalog and index for their patrons.

But did you know that many of our archives have scrap paper that is discovered on a daily basis that doesn't belong to any particular records collection? Those records are kept too but they may be a little harder to locate in an archive.

So, how can you find genealogical scrap paper in archives? Here are some tips:

-Vertical File Collections: The best place to locate scrap paper. Many of the scrap pieces of paper that archives collect can be found in Vertical File Collections. Vertical Files are arranged by surname or subject name. If the scrap piece of paper has a surname on it or is related to a certain subject, they will be filed in Vertical Files.


Vertical File Drawer at Houston County, TN. Archives

-Manuscript Collections: Sometimes archivists will include scrap paper documents in a Manuscript Collection if they can determine the family or organization it belongs to. The scrap paper will be cataloged in the finding aid.

Irish Celebration Manuscript Collection, Houston County, TN. Archives


-Loose Records: If the scrap paper document has to do with a legal matter, like a court case or probate case, these are called "Loose Records". Archivists will put a folder at the beginning of a collection of Loose Records that will say "Misc. Documents" or "Orphan Documents" and place the scrap paper document in that file.

Misc. Documents Folder, Houston County, TN. Archives


Genealogists need to be aware of scrap paper as they do research in archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, libraries and museums. To anyone else these items may mean nothing but to you they may mean everything!



REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!


******


NEW! AVAILABLE NOW AT LEGACY FAMILY TREE WEBINARS!!


Metal Paper Clips, Rubber Bands and Tape, OH MY!
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1614























Monday, April 3, 2017

Why Your Research is Never Done

I have heard it from genealogists before:

"My research is done. I have checked everywhere and there are no more records that exist"

How I wish this statement could be true and we could come to the conclusion that "our research is done". The truth is, our research will never be done.

Our genealogy research will never be done as long as records are being discovered, like this story from the University of Rochester in New York.

"Trove of Susan B. Anthony Letters Found in Man's Barn"
http://www.ksdk.com/news/trove-of-susan-b-anthony-letters-found-in-mans-barn/427322156

Susan B. Anthony 1820-1906


The records found date from 1869-1880 and include a trove of letters from the famed Susan B. Anthony, among others.

Now, maybe your ancestor isn't Susan B. Anthony but maybe your ancestor is mentioned in her letters or in some of the other letters and documents found in this man's barn. The point is, there are records being found everywhere and all the time.

And what about those records that haven't been discovered yet?

What about those records sitting in someone's basement, attic or barn that will hopefully be discovered and turned over to an archive and then made available to the researching public?

There is so much more to be discovered! Don't be one of those that says your research is done! Maybe, just maybe, there will be a discovery that will include records for your ancestor!

Are you looking for a photograph of your ancestor?

Did you know recently there was a very large photograph collection donated to the Library of Congress?

"Library of Congress Acquires Massive Archive of Civil Rights Photos by Bob Adelman"
https://petapixel.com/2017/03/30/library-congress-acquires-bob-adelmans-archive-iconic-civil-rights-photos/

March on Washington


This photograph donation contains 575,000 images that include 50,000 prints and hundreds of thousands of negatives and slides.

The collection was donated by an anonymous donor to the Library of Congress which will make the entire collection available to the public.

And what about all those records at the archives, library, historical society, genealogical society, university archives or museum that are just sitting on the shelves?

As an archivist I know all too well the amount of original records sitting on archives shelves waiting to be processed. These records have not been microfilmed, digitized or even seen by the public. While archivists know about the records that sit on their shelves, they are doing all they can do to process each record collection as they have the time.

As a genealogist working as an archivist, I now know that my research will never be done. Not as long as there are records discoveries in barns and as long as archives still have records on their shelves that have not been processed.

You may have to wait but hopefully one day there will be a discovery made that includes records for your ancestor! Don't Give Up!



REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!!


*****


NEW! FROM LEGACY FAMILY TREE WEBINARS


Metal Paper Clips, Rubber Bands and Tape, OH MY!
http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1614


Don't Forget to go over to Facebook and "Like" The Archive Lady's Page. Keep up with all the news you can use in the archives world and records preservation!

https://www.facebook.com/TheArchiveLady/











Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Framed Photographs and Documents

Many of us have inherited framed photographs or documents as part of our family genealogy collections. In the Houston County, TN. Archives, we sometimes receive framed photographs and documents as part of a larger records donation.

Many of these framed photographs and documents are in frames that have removable backs. This way the photographs and documents can be changed out if the person wanted to display a different photo or document. My Grandmother, Ida Kathryn (Drummond) Bartram, had framed photographs of all her grandchildren's school pictures and each year she would put the newest photo in the front to be displayed.

Frame with Removable Back

















Frame with Removable Back




















If you have received framed photographs or documents with removable backs, have you taken the back off to see what secrets could be hiding? Recently, I inherited some framed photographs from my aunt and I found that there was a different photograph hiding behind the one that was showing.

The photograph that was on display was:

William Sherman Bartram (1872-1961)
The photograph that I found, in the same frame, hiding behind the William Sherman Bartram photo was:

Filmore and Mary Drummond

The interesting thing about these two photographs is they are from two different families that are both related to my late aunt and myself.

One of the first things we do in the archives when we have received framed photographs or documents that have removable backs is to remove the back and see if there are any additional hidden documents or photographs that can't be seen from the front.

It is surprising how many people will put more than one photograph or document in a single picture frame. Then, over time, those older photographs and documents are forgotten. There has been many times when people have found long lost photographs and documents in picture frames of their family.

Some might remember back in 1991 when someone purchased a $4.00 painting at a flea market and when the frame was taken apart an original copy of the Declaration of Independence was found which was estimated to be worth $800,000.00 to 1 million dollars at the time. You can read about this event here:

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/03/arts/declaration-of-independence-found-in-a-4-picture-frame.html



While we may not find an original copy of the Declaration of Independence behind one of our ancestor's photos, it is still a good idea to check those framed photos and documents for anything that might be hiding!



REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!!

******

You Can Now Follow "The Archive Lady" on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/TheArchiveLady/



Scrapbooks! Watch My Latest Legacy Family Tree Webinar 

Scrapbooks: A Genealogist's Gold Mine

http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1161


Monday, February 20, 2017

Presidential Libraries

One of the things I wanted to do in 2017 was shine a light on many of our wonderful libraries and archives across the United States. While I can't talk about them all, I hope that the ones I do highlight in my blog in 2017 will inspire each and everyone of you to contact these archives and use the mountains of resources they painstakingly process and make available to the researching public.

Since this is President's Day, I thought I would highlight our wonderful Presidential Libraries all across the United States.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum


Thirteen of the Presidential Libraries are under the auspices of the U.S. National Archives. They describe the libraries as:

Presidential Libraries and Museums promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience. We preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.

These thirteen libraries have websites and the links can be found on the U.S. National Archives site:

https://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries

William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum



Five of the Presidential Libraries are operated by private foundations, historical societies or state governments. They are:

William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum
https://mckinleymuseum.org/

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum
http://www.rbhayes.org/

Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum
http://forbeslibrary.org/calvin-coolidge-presidential-library-and-museum/

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
https://www.illinois.gov/alplm/library/Pages/default.aspx

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum
http://www.woodrowwilson.org/

Many of you may be thinking that these Presidential library would be of no help to the genealogy research that you are doing. I admit that not everyone will find their ancestors in the records at these libraries, however, how will you know if you don't try?

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum


Think about where these Presidents lived, who they were related to and who they may have interacted with during their lifetime. Presidential libraries hold more than just papers and records from the Presidency, many of them hold personal papers, diaries, photographs and records about their ancestors. These records could include friends, associates and neighbors (F.A.N. Club)!

Do not discount these Presidential libraries. Check out their websites, records indexes, manuscript collection finding aids and anything else that might tell you what these repositories hold.

You might just be surprised what you find at a Presidential Library and Museum!

Happy President's Day!

REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!

*****

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