Monday, August 31, 2015

Preparing for a Research Trip

Yesterday I posted my "items to be checked list" for Salt Lake in January. I'll update it with specific books, films and fiche later.

For those of you planning a research trip, especially inexperienced researchers, here's a few tips.

(1) Check the venue's website or call to see what the hours are. Due to volunteer shortages, some places are open only a couple of days per week or have short hours. It's no fun to show up at a historical society library only to learn that it's closed!

(2) Most libraries have an online catalog. Check to see if the venue has the books, films, documents, newspapers or manuscripts that you need. Make a list of what they have that you need.

(3) Find out what the facility charges for copies. Prices generally range from 10 to 25 cents per page. See if they allow you to unload the pages on a thumb drive.

(4) You are most likely to find deeds, probate files and vital records at the local court house. The same applies here, find out how much copies are [$1.00 a page is common] and how easily accessible they are. Sometimes you will be accessing the record books and other times they will be on microfilm or digitized.

(5) Be polite. Ask specific questions. The librarian or clerk needs details, not your family history! Say thank you. [Sometimes you will run into the "clerk from Hades" who hates genealogy researchers with a passion. Take them with a grain of salt. Be polite and roll with the punches! :)-

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