As 2018 is quickly coming to an end, I’d like to share two GeneaGems to help with library and archives research.
Let’s begin the the archives GeneaGem because archives are way under-utilized by genealogists, in my humble opinion. One big reason for that, I think, is that many archives haven’t digitized most of their holdings. Unfortunately, that means that many researchers overlook those local repositories.
Need to learn more about archives? A great website is that of the Society of American Archivists.
Yes, it is meant for professional archivists, but there is plenty of information to educate the public on the purpose and function of local archives.
The GeneaGem that I found buried on the website is the publication titled Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research written by Laura Schmidt for the Society of American Archivists. It is free to access and basically is an “everything you ever wanted to know about archives” with tons of links in the article.
The differences between libraries and archives are explained and the seven different types of archives are outlined with a description of how to evaluate the holdings. Guidelines for remotely accessing an archives and how to plan visits are followed by a list of links of further resources AND a sample of a finding aid to help understand the collections in a particular archive.