You might want to consider making a list of all your books in your personal library. But, don’t stop there….look at it,….really look at it… to see what you have and more importantly what you don’t have.
As an assignment for the ProGen virtual study group we listed all of our books and assessed its strengths and weaknesses. For me, of course, a strength was my Ostfriesen Ortsippenbüken (compiled parish records arranged by families, not chronologically) of which I have 20 or so for the villages in this geographical area in Germany near the Dutch border and the North Sea (maternal lineage).
What I found I lacked were books that focused on :
- Germany as a whole
(purchased: Brandt, Edward R. et al. Germanic Genealogy: A Guide to Worldwide Sources and Migration Patterns. St. Paul, Minnesota: Germanic Genealogy Association. 2007.)
- NARA collections
(purchased: Munden, Kenneth W. & Beers, Henry Putney. The Union: A Guide to Federal Archives Relating to the Civil War. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration. 2004.
and its companion book: Beers, Henry Putney. The Confederacy: A Guide to the Archives of the Government of the Confederate States of America. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration. 2004,)
- anything related to pre-1850
(purchased: Wehmann, Howard H., compiler. A Guide to Pre-Federal Records in the National Archives. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration. 1989.)
You can see that I decided to do something about the gaps and purchased a few books. While 1 or 2 books do not make one knowledgeable, I admit they certainly expanded my base of personal information and reference works. I may review one or two of these in future blogs, but I will tell you I just got through Germanic Genealogy and I am very impressed with its scope, as it covers most German speaking countries, and not just Germany.
I still would like to have some assistance (webinars?) on the 1800 to 1850 gap. I listened to a webinar on that time period and was hoping for a “silver bullet.” I guess one doesn’t exist.
I also want to develop a personal digital library of books (out of copyright) that digitized and available. Many county histories fall into this category.
The other advantage of having a list of books available is that you don’t buy a book twice. Well, it didn’t help with that! The good news is that it didn’t sit on my shelf to be discovered after the return date.
What I have done since the last post: visited friends in San Francisco, got sick, finished up the latest SGS Newsletter (2 weeks late! ouch!), finished up two client reports, finished up my February assignment (library list and education plan) for ProGen and started on my assignment for March (research plan) and issued contracts to two new clients.