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A Genealogist In The Archives: "31 Days of Tips from The Archive Lady" Day #31 You Are The Home Archivist!

Monday, October 31, 2016

"31 Days of Tips from The Archive Lady" Day #31 You Are The Home Archivist!

Today is the last day of "31 Days of Tips from The Archive Lady". It has been so much fun sharing tips about researching in archives and preserving family records. I hope what I have shared has helped many of you advance in your genealogy research and now have the knowledge of how to take care of your precious family documents and heirlooms.

On this last day of October 2016, the last day of American Archives Month, I want you to know that as genealogists with original records, photographs and artifacts, You Are The Home Archivist! You are the keeper of the family history and I applaud each and every one of you that has taken on this responsibility.

Bartram Family Bible and Items Found Inside, Owned by Melissa Barker

I also want to remind you there are thousands of archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, university archives and museums are out there and they hold millions of records that are NOT ONLINE. I completely understand that it can be a hardship for many of us to travel to these places to do research. Keep in mind that calling and emailing are very viable tools to use in communicating with these facilities.

My tip for you today is to think outside the box as you are doing your genealogy research. Remember all the unique records I have shared with you over this last month that are not online. Communicate with local archives about your genealogy research. Talk to the archivists about the records they hold in their archives. Ask them about Manuscript Collections, Vertical Files, Loose Records and all the records they have that are not online. Most archivists are ready and willing to be a help to you!

Houston County, TN. Lions Club Records Donation, Located in Houston County, TN. Archives

Even though this series of posts will come to an end as of today, that is not the end of the advice, tips and guidance I hope to continue bring to you. I will continue to blog about wonderful records that are held not only in the Houston County, TN. Archives but in archives all across the United States. I will also continue to blog about records preservation and how to make sure all of us preserve our family records so that future generations can enjoy them.

And best of all, I want to hear from you! If you have questions about how to find records, how to preserve any of your family records, photographs and artifacts, I want you to drop me an email. I love hearing from my readers and helping them anyway I can. Please email me at:



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  1. Thanks so much for this whole series, Melissa!

    I have learned a great deal. I've been at this for a long time, but I started about four decades ago, and then there was a *very* long hiatus. Really got back to genealogy when I got a computer in the late 90s. The world had changed....

    You have not only taught me things I didn't know, but you also have reminded me of some things that *used* to be normal practices in my research that I had long forgotten....

    Can't remember the last time I asked an archive or library, via email, if they had a vertical file on a subject, as just one example. That used to be pretty much the *first* question I asked in my letter or phone call, or when I walked in the door!

    It is not all online. It will *never* all be online. And much of the most interesting, problem-solving, confusion-resolving, and plain old coolest stuff is in that "never online" category.

    Thanks again!

    1. Linda, Thank You for your kind words. I am so glad that this series has helped you, that makes me feel like I got the message across. I hope you continue to follow my blog as I will continue to tell you about how to research in archives, records preservation and so much more!