Quick Tips

16 Feb 2012

Think Like an Archivist on Saturday in San Diego

Looking forward to presenting Saturday at the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego on primary source research, entitled “Think Like an Archivist: Finding Hidden Genealogical Materials in Libraries and Archives.”

Learn about locating genealogical materials held in manuscript and photographic collections in libraries and archives worldwide, using online archival portals and digital finding aids. Discover where family records are located in digital finding aids; effective search terms and strategies; specific URLs for institutional, regional, and worldwide archival portals and gateways; and how to search once across multiple institutions to locate family history records.

This is a great group of dedicated genealogists and I look forward to being with them again.

11 Jan 2011

Tuesday’s Tip: Dismantle Those Framed Photographs

Did you inherit framed family photographs? When framed photographs are donated to an institution, archivists always disassemble the frames and usually store the photographs unframed.

Archivists do this because framers often used cardboard and scrap wood to back photographs. In some cases, we have seen photographs where the acid in the wood backing has reproduced the knotholes and texture of the wood perfectly right on the photographic print … and ruined the photograph in the process. 


Does this mean you shouldn’t have framed family photographs? Of course not. But do disassemble vintage photographs from their frames to check on the backing being used. You can still the vintage picture frames. Just have your local framer replace the backing with acid-free materials (aka museum mounting).

And it doesn’t matter what the frame is made of – the backing should be checked in all instances. You can keep your wooden […]

9 Oct 2010

Sassy Jane and Day Two of the California Family History Expo


Today’s session at the California Family History Expo is Think Like an Archivist, scheduled for 2:30 pm, which offers tips for accessing hidden genealogical resources in library and archival collections worldwide. Feel free to comment or ask questions using the comment button below.

8 Oct 2010

California Family History Expo Starts Today!

I’m setting up this entry for questions or comments on my first session today at the California Family History Expo entitled “Organize Your Genealogical Research.” 

In the session, I talk about the strategies archivists use to process collections to help you organize your genealogical research, including sharing the Top Ten Things Archivists Can Teach Us about organizing. 

Some of what I have to say may be contrary to conventional organizing wisdom, so feel free to respond using the comment button at the bottom of this entry.