I am a little behind in my Genealogy Do Over due to surgery, but luckily you can participate in Thomas MacEntee’s program at your own pace.
Week 5 : Research Tool Box and Citations
Research Tool Box
I have been through various methods of building a “Research Tool Box” in the last 7 years. I started with binders by state and country and filled them with information that I got from genealogy magazines, e-mails etc. I then got overwhelmed and put the cut out information on my bookshelf in a large pile and e-mails in email folders, so I could reference them if I needed to. Definitely an example of going backwards, not forwards. But in the last 6 months, I have been liberated by finally going to a PC for my genealogy research. (Sorry Mac users, I love mine too, but I just got too frustrated with trying to make it work for genealogy programs….). With my Office 365, I get One Note which appeals to my visual organizational nature with notebooks, sections, pages all beautifully color coded. You can take whole e-mails or “snip” a picture and include it on your page. I love it and now I have a real “Research Tool Box” (not to mention my e-mail inbox has never looked better!
Citations – Urgh!
I will always struggle with this…guess that wasn’t very positive statement, but it does seem to be the hardest part of research for me. This is an area I really would like specific rules and it seems that while there is a “general rule” for each type of item to cite, there is slight variation among professional researchers, genealogy programs and with the information age there are always new types of things to cite. Elizabeth Shown Mills says “it’s an art, not a science”, but sometimes I think my “art” belongs on a Kindergarten wall, definitely not the Louvre.
Thomas MacEntee has templates within his research logs and adds new ones as he cites new types of documents, this seems as logical as anything and I am willing to try it. Perfection is not possible in this area; I must give it up.
Extra Credit – If anyone knows how I should accurately cite (Source List and First Reference Note) Anthony Mattson’s Dependent file on Fold 3 mentioned in my last post let me know. I think it is a merging of the examples on EE pages 604 & 605, but lack confidence to be definitive! http://www.fold3.com/image/1/314648817/
Week 6: Evaluating Evidence and Reviewing Free Education Options
After a review of the Evaluating Evidence skill building article & lesson found on the Evidence Explained website named in the article, I was feeling pretty good about my basic knowledge and that I am using the labels correctly. This week’s assignment also gave me the motivation to finally start using Clooz that I bought last May at NGS in Richmond. I watched the free videos on their website to see how I could integrate this tool in my research process. My biggest concern was not to duplicate steps by entering the information in multiple places – my research log, Clooz and then finally Legacy. After reviewing the product, I confirmed that I will be able to leverage the document analysis in Clooz (ex. they have very powerful templates for census records that will cut down manually entering data in spreadsheets) and best of all when the document is ready for prime time, I can export it to Legacy without having to reenter the data. Cool! I am realizing I have to rethink my overall research documentation process that I did in Week 1, but I will have to use it for awhile before implementing process improvement.
Reviewing Free Online Education Options
No problems here. I am always taking free (or subscription site) online webinars and my only challenge is how to fit them all in! Thomas MacEntee’s list had some sites I didn’t know about….just what I need is more ideas! I keep my list on OneNote, as I find out about webinars I want to take. I won’t get to them all and will prioritize those that overlap with my overall genealogy goals for 2015.
Currently on my growing list for this year:
If you are doing the Genealogy Do Over, let me know about your progress and if you have any insights!