Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday's Tip: Repository Checklist

One of the many things I love about my RootsMagic software is its handy repository list that syncs with the to-do list:

Repository checklist - click to enlarge
However, there are times when I would like to tweak my own list and sort the various fields to make them easier to plan research trips. I'm getting ready for RootsTech in a few weeks and am looking forward to my first visit at the Family History Library. I decided to make my own repository checklist in a spreadsheet and came up with the following.

Here is the view of the left side of the checklist. It is a wide spreadsheet. This is another reason why I like organizing my tasks in Excel; I can have as many columns or rows as I need to store my data:

click to enlarge
Here is the right side of my repository checklist:

click to enlarge
The different columns are headed: Surname, Given Name, Maiden Name (in case I need to search for those separately), Film & Item #,  Call # (for books), Record type (film, book, CD, database), Description (as it appears in the FHL catalog), Collection (see next paragraph), Notes, Priority, Obtained (to be checked off), and Results.

You have probably noticed that the Collections column is empty. That's because I just added it this past weekend, when I realized that the films and books I need to research belong to different collections and will be located on different floors of the Family History Library. To use my time efficiently, I may wish to research as much as possible on one floor before moving to another. I'll have to go back and add the information I need in the Collections column before my trip.

I can sort each column for whatever my research needs require. For instance, if I'm looking in a book's index for certain families, I can sort my list by surname in alphabetical order. I can sort by collection, by film number or by call number. I can also sort by priority:

Finally, I can use this handy repository checklist for more than one repository. Whether I'm researching in the genealogist's paradise--the Family History Library--or checking out resources in the Spokane Public Library's Genealogy Room, or perhaps the state's Eastern Washington Regional Archives out at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, I can utilize my checklist on my netbook, with Dropbox or Evernote, or Google Drive.

For your own use, I've created a blank Repository Checklist form, which can be found online here and downloaded to your computer. You can then tweak it to suit your own needs.

click to enlarge - image only - to download the actual Repository Checklist, click on the link above the image

I hope this checklist, or at least the idea of it, is helpful to you in your research. Happy Hunting!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great idea for preparing for a road trip. Thank you for posting and sharing.