When targeting an area, consult at least the following resources:
- U.S. GenWeb Project
- Genealogist's Address Book (now up to its 6th edition)
- Cyndi's List of Genealogy Websites
- Family History Library Catalog
- Library of Congress Online Catalog
- New England Historic Genealogical Society Catalog
- Allen County Public Library Catalog
- National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC)
- Printed bibliographies
The U.S. GenWeb Project and The Genealogist's Address Book are the first places to go when looking for information regarding research facilities or collections in an area. In many cases, you will find the collection holder's name & contact information with some links to websites. This step can't be over-emphasized. During two of my own book projects, this step led me to some fantastic unpublicized collections. When earlier this year my focus turned to Lenawee County, Michigan, this method led me to one of the most exciting museum archives I've ever seen, one that was only identified online as a historical society collection without many details.
Items 4 & 5 are online yellow pages and should be used in tandem. Both are designed to categorize websites by subject & geographic region, and both are unique in their content.
NUCMC (pronounced "nuckmuck") is an effort by the Library of Congress to identify manuscript collections around the nation. A manuscript is defined as a book or document, many times hand-written, that has not been published and often one-of-a-kind. Manuscripts tend to be the hardest things to locate as they are undercataloged and tucked away in corners, protected but often inaccessible. If located, manuscripts can be very useful and provide the researcher with solid primary source materials.
The last item on the list, Printed Bibliographies, is also a great way to locate those rare and hard-to-locate items. Materials on these lists can be in a variety of forms including books, microform, periodicals, manuscripts, official records, and audio-visuals. Where to look for Printed Bibliographies? Seek them out online & in collections using some of the above methods. Many times they are printed in books or in genealogical periodicals. Some libraries/archives have them as a free pamphlet. And, don't forget those WPA Inventories done during the 1930's & 1940's.
This winds up the series on research checklists, but I hope I've convinced you to pursue a "seek & find" philosophy for your research. Develop your own checklists, use them & add to them. This method won't guarantee answers to every question, but will allow a feeling that you've looked "almost" everywhere.
Nameless Picture of the Day
unknown man with bicycle
Photographer - J. W. Rhodes, Mendon
Can you identify the man in this photo? Are you familiar with the photographer's name? Please contact us if you have any information and we will publish it in a future blog. Please include the five character catalog number with your e-mail.