family papers

1 May 2016

Archives MayDay 2016

Today is Archives MayDay 2016 – the one day each year when the entire archives profession pays attention to emergency preparedness by writing, reviewing, and revising disaster preparedness plans.

At home, too often our emergency planning takes second place to more pressing demands. So I think it’s smart to take a leaf from the Society of American Archivists and take time today to review the emergency plans for your family history data. (I’m going to assume that everyone has already ensured their personal safety so that we can focus on data. But if you need to improve your personal safety measures, visit 72hours.org.)

A starting place for your data and papers:

Are you backing up your data?
If you are, could you grab that hard drive and go with only a few minutes’ warning?
Is that backup automated? Don’t depend on remembering once a month to make a backup. Let your […]

10 Apr 2016

Free California Digital Archives for Genealogy Part 3

Free California Digital Archives for Genealogy Part 3
is part of  Sassy Jane Genealogy’s States on Sunday series,
providing links to free digital resources for each of the fifty states.
Part 1 featured the major resources available.
Part 2 includes institutional and small organization links.
Part 3 today concludes the entries for California. The state’s resources are so numerous, it is impossible to list them all here. Researchers are advised to search for specific public library and genealogical society resources by geographic areas to find additional resources.
Ethnic Resources
African Americans in California
1,800 items found in 60 collections at Calisphere, predominantly historic images.

Chinese in California Collection

UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library
The Chinese in California presents a balanced perspective on a tumultuous and changing history of this community in California. Major issues explored in these records include the Chinese contribution to California and the American West in the 19th and early 20th centuries; the rampant anti-Chinese sentiment encountered by these immigrants, eventually leading to the federal […]

3 Apr 2016

Free California Digital Archives for Genealogy Part 2

Free California Digital Archives for Genealogy Part 2
is part of  Sassy Jane Genealogy’s States on Sunday series,
providing links to free digital resources for each of the fifty states.
Part 1 featured the major resources available.
Part 2 includes institutional and small organization links.
Part 3 concludes the entries for California. The state’s resources are so numerous, it is impossible to list them all here. Researchers are advised to search for specific public library and genealogical society resources by geographic areas to find additional resources.
Access Genealogy California

1861 Placer County, California Directory
https://www.accessgenealogy.com/california/1861-placer-county-california-directory.htm
California Census Map 1910
https://www.accessgenealogy.com/california/1910-california-census-map.htm
[California] Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875
http://caahgp.genealogyvillage.com/pacific_coast/

California Digital Library

Free Digitized Genealogy and Family History Books
https://archive.org/details/cdl?and[]=genealogy

CaliforniaGenealogy.org

California Gold Rush “Most Wanted” Website
http://www.californiagenealogy.org/goldrush/
Website for “Most Wanted (most elusive, brick wall) ancestors lost in California during the time of the Gold Rush 1840s-1880s.”

California Historical Society

Online Catalog
http://c95040.eos-intl.net/C95040/OPAC/Index.aspx

California Perspectives on American History

Oakland Museum of California
http://picturethis.museumca.org/
Picture This: California’s Perspectives on American History features primary source images […]

19 Mar 2016

Why We Do Genealogy

How many times have you been asked why we do genealogy?
Back when I was a working archivist-librarian, the bosses who held the pursestrings would ask me why we should even bother with all that old stuff. After all, it was so expensive to take care of and nobody really cared about those dusty old archives. My immediate, though internal, answer was always, “How can you not care about history?”

None of my grad school classes in history or library science prepared me to justify archival preservation, research, or outreach, especially to bosses who had never done primary-source research themselves. Eventually I figured out ways (with more or less success) to make preservation and access to the historical records in my care palatable to administrators who only had eyes on the bottom line.

A few years ago, I posted about a visit to the Tenement Museum, one of the best historical museums anywhere.

I have eight great-grandparents […]