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Librarianship: Specialized Genealogy Sources
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A fundamental component of library service is matching users with their information needs. With genealogy, the assistance rarely ends with the provision of sources. Many genealogists seek further assistance accessing and decoding the information. To further complicate the matter, the language and arrangement of genealogical sources vary widely from source to source. There is no single, standard language or format used in genealogy reference materials. Librarians can offer the best assistance when they have a thorough knowledge of sources and how they work.


Course Content

Module 1
Introduction
1. Why was it created?
2. Under what circumstances was the information compiled?
3. What system is used to access or organize the records?
4. What special language, symbols or abbreviations are used?
5. What problems/obstacles might the user encounter?
6. Does it offer information beyond what is immediately apparent?
7. Does it contain information that is suspect?
8. What is the physical condition of the source?
9. Are there other format options?
10. What tools can the library use or develop to ease the search process?
11. What does the librarian need to know?

Module 2
The 1880 U.S.Census
1. Why was it created?
2. Under what circumstances was the information compiled?
3. What system is used to organize or access the records? Enumeration Districts or Wards?
4. What special language, symbols or abbreviations are used?
5. What problems/obstacles might the user encounter?
6. Does it offer information beyond what is apparent?
7. Does it contain information that is suspect?
8. What is the condition of the physical source?
9. Are there other format options?
10. What tools can the library use to ease the search process?
11. What does the librarian need to know?

Module 3
1. Why was it created?
2. Under what circumstances was the information compiled?
3. What system is used to access or organize the records?
Viewing the Soundex citations requires a three-step process
4. What special language, symbols or abbreviations are used?
5. What problems might the user encounter?
Major Problems
The H and W Rule
Missing States/Ports/Years
6. Does it offer information beyond what is apparent?
7. Does it contain information that is suspect?
8. What is the physical condition?
9. Are there other format options?
10. What tools can librarians use to ease the search process?
11. What does the librarian need to know?

Module 4
Passenger & Immigration Lists Index
1. Why was it created?
2. Under what circumstances was the information compiled?
3. What system is used to organize or access the records?
4. What special language, symbols or abbreviations are used?
5. What problems/obstacles might the user encounter?
Citation dates
Place
Differentiating between names
Multiple spellings of names
Locating sources
Spine dates
Arrangement of source listings
6. Does it offer information beyond what is immediately apparent?
7. Does it offer information that is suspect?
8. What is the physical condition of the source?
9. Are there other format options?
10. What tools can librarians use to enhance the search for passenger lists?
11. What does the librarian need to know?

Module 5
PERSI
1. Why was it created?
2. Under what circumstances was the information compiled?
Quality Control
3. What system is used to organize and access data?
Technology
Content
Searchable Fields
Identifying the Source
4. What special language, symbols or abbreviations are used?
5. What obstacles might users encounter?
6. Does it offer information beyond what is immediately apparent?
7. Does it offer information that is suspect?
8. What is the physical condition?
9. Are there other format options?
10. What tools can librarians use to enhance the search for periodical articles?
11. What does the librarian need to know?

Module 6
City Directories
1. Why were they created?
2. Under what circumstances was the information gathered or compiled?
Historical Events
Procedures
3. What system is used to organize and access the data?
4. What special language, symbols or abbreviations are used?
5. What obstacles might users encounter?
6. Does it offer information beyond what is immediately apparent?
7. Does it offer information that is suspect?
8. What is the physical condition?
9. What other format options are available?
10. What tools can librarians use to enhance the use of city directories?
11. What does the librarian need to know?

Module 7
Land Ownership Atlases
1. Why were they created?
2. Under what circumstances was the information gathered or compiled?
Financing
Collecting Information
Reprints
3. What system is used to organize and access the data?
Orientation of the Maps
Accessing the Atlases
4. What special language, abbreviations or symbols are used?
5. What obstacles might users and librarians encounter?
6. Does it offer information beyond what is immediately apparent?
7. Does it contain information that is suspect?
8. What is the physical condition ?
9. Are other format options available?
10. What tools can librarians use to enhance the use of land ownership maps?
11. What does the librarian need to know?

Module 8
Obituary Files & Newspaper Indexes
1. Why were they created?
2. Under what circumstances was the information gathered or compiled?
The Predecessor: Card Files
NEWSDEX Computer Files
3. What system is used to organize and access the data?
Cards
NEWSDEX
Web-Based Index
4. What special language, abbreviations or symbols are used?
5. What obstacles might users and librarians encounter?
6. Does it offer information beyond what is immediately apparent?
7. Does it contain information that is suspect?
8. What is the physical condition?
9. Are other format options available?
10. What tools can the library use to enhance the use of newspapers?
11. What does the librarian need to know?

Module 9
Practicum
Source Analysis
 
 

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