Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday's Tip: State Resource Blogs

If you're reading this blog, chances are you read other genealogy blogs. In fact, you've probably got a long list of them that you've added to your feed aggregator, such as Feedly. But as a genealogist, have you considered reading the blogs of the archives, libraries, and historical and genealogical societies of the states where your ancestors lived? For instance, as a Washington State resident, I follow the Washington State Archives blog: "From Our Corner," and the Washington State Library blog: "Between the Lines." Because I have so many ancestors from Michigan, I also follow the blog for the Michigan Digital Archives (Seeking Michigan), called "Look." There are numerous other state-level blogs I follow, especially those that might update me on digitized city directories or newspapers for my Online Historical Directories and Online Historical Newspapers sites.

How did I find these? Some I discovered while visiting the state websites in search of other resources. Others I found deliberately by doing an online search. Some of the search terms I used on Google were:
  • "[name of state] State Archives" blog
  • "[name of state] State Digital Archives" blog
  • "[name of state] State Library" blog
  • "[name of state] State Historical Society" blog
  • "[name of state] State Genealogical Society" blog
  • "[name of state] State Museum" blog
How will these blogs be beneficial in your genealogical research? They will:
  • enhance your learning of the history of the state, its resources, and its historical figures, and thus how your ancestor was impacted and affected by such events and individuals
  • give you understanding of the policies and procedures of obtaining genealogical and historical resources
  • help you discover new and updated resources, including databases, photographs, maps, newspapers, directories, yearbooks, biographies, art and artifacts
  • caution you about facility closures, record access restrictions, and possible negative impacts upon genealogical research in order for you to make a call to action
If you are reading this from a non-U.S. country--or have traced your American ancestors "across the pond"--don't hesitate to discover provincial, regional, and municipal archives, library, and society blogs in those nations as well. Use Google Translate to assist you in any language challenges.

Finally, for my fellow Americans, don't forget the Library of Congress blogs (yes, there are more than one!) and the National Archives (NARAtions) blog. Happy reading, happy learning, happy hunting!

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