Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Random notes and musings

This is going to be like a Mark Patinkin (see Mark Patinkin at ProJo) column with various, miscellaneous points that aren't really connected. I think Bill Reynolds calls it "For what it's worth," but here goes:
  • Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't yet know this, but I was thrilled to discover a ProScanner 1100 at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library, now a Smithsonian Institution affiliate and renamed the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center. Don't forget a jump drive! Although they thoughtfully provide them for sale. Excellent for the vital records and newspaper collections.
  • The Providence City Archives is getting the positive publicity it deserves due to the fabulous work of Paul Cambell and his staff. (Treasure Trove of History 9/9/2015)
  • I've been to several town halls recently and the key thing to ask is for the vault inventory. Most have a list of stuff that is not accessible in the land evidence books, but they will let you check out the list and request things that may be of interest to your project. I've also been taking pictures of the vault inventories and converting them to PDFs so when I go back to that town hall, I can check the list before I go and plan my research more efficiently.
  • Trying to put all the sources I've ever searched in RI into a spreadsheet is NOT an easy task. My goal has been to develop my own source lists from all my old research projects, but there isn't an easy way to export my genealogical database Master Source file. I'll figure it out eventually, but the idea is to be able to quickly identify and sort sources for research projects in certain towns and be able to sort by town, type of record, time period of records in addition to the actual source citation information. Sort of an annotated bibliography for the state of RI. If I ever finish, I'll let you know. I'm sure there's an easier way to do this, but that would require me to learn even MORE new stuff, new programs. I thought computers were supposed to make life easier.
  • Did I mention that I want to sort it by repository? Shoot. Me. Now.
  • There is so much information available for genealogy on the internet that my head is going to explode, especially the blogosphere. Is that a word?
  • Renovations at the repository that you REALLY need to get into, that's been closed for 6 months or more, ALWAYS take longer than projected. Always.
  • The only thing worse than the continued closure is the lack of updates on when they might reopen.
  • I have no idea how anyone is able to maintain all of their online presences or whatever they're called when there are so many. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, websites, APG profile, BCG profile.  I can barely update my website, and the new website design is something I've been putting off for six months! How am I supposed to get any actual work done?
  • I have 3 speaking engagements next month and am very excited to be developing 2 new talks! I'll be at the Falmouth Genealogical Society speaking on "Conserving our Personal Collections." 
  • I'll be heading to NJ for the Ukrainian Historical and Educational Center of NJ for their Nashi Pedky Family History Group Conference presenting "It's Like Velcro: Autosomal DNA for Genealogy." 
  • I'll be at #GenGen in NY City with2 newish ones: "An overview of DNA Tests for Genealogy" and "DNA as part of the Genealogical Proof Standard," as part of Genetics over Generations, the renamed Genealogy Event.
Now that my random list is finished, I have to go make sure that I cross post this to 14 other platforms. Maybe that's why I have a recurring activity on schedule: "update online materials."


  1. Very interesting about the vault inventories. And yes the new scanner at RIHS is a fabulous improvement. Was on my bucket list to win the lottery and buy them one!! Seems like both of our major historical societies have taken an extended pass for renovations and such. Well at least RIHS is back.

  2. Not every Town Hall is willing. I was in Newport yesterday, and the only word for their process is "obstructive." They hope that you'll just go away.