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A Genealogist In The Archives: Ask the Archivist Day on Twitter!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Ask the Archivist Day on Twitter!

"31 Days of Tips from The Archive Lady"

DAY #2

It is day #2 of "31 Days of Tips from an Archivist"!

It is also #AskAnArchivist Day on Twitter where archivist from across the country are available on this day to answer your questions about researching in archives and records preservation. So, head over to Twitter and ask your question!

Houston County, TN. Archives

One question I get from genealogists is "How can I work with an archive when I can't actually go there?"

If you can not travel to the archives, make a phone call or email them to make your requests. The records that are sitting on the shelves are just waiting for YOU to discover them! 

Today's tip is an important one for each and every genealogist. If you walk into an archive or find yourself needing to call or email them, please don't be afraid to talk to the archivist, make a request or ask what records are available. We are here to help you! We can't be of help if we don't tell us what you need. Our archivists, librarians, clerks and volunteers are there to help the genealogist locate records on their ancestors.

Here are a some guidelines to help the genealogist when asking questions of the archivist:

  • Be as specific with your request as possible. The more specific your question is, the better the archivist will be able to help you. 
  • Please don't ask "I want everything for the Smith family". This question will not be beneficial to you or the archivist. It will only serve to make the process of searching for records more difficult.
  • Call Ahead! Ask the archivist about specific records such as vital records, deed records, court records, etc. and what the archive has available. Understanding if the archive has the records you are looking for before you even step foot in the facility will save you precious research time.
  • Ask the archivist about Vertical Files. This records collections is one that I find many genealogists just don't know about or know to ask for
  • Ask the archivist about Manuscript Collections. Remember that these records are stored in back rooms and will need to be requested. Be sure to study the Finding Aids of the collections that interest you.

The next time you are visiting an archive, talking with an archivist on the phone or sending an email, communicate your needs to the archivist.



Melissa's Legacy Family Tree Quick Guide

It's Not All Online, Researching in Archives

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