How to Use Your Public Library for Genealogy Research

  Public libraries subscribe to online research databases in behalf of their patrons. Some of these databases permit you to access them from a home computer with a current library card and password while others can only be used onsite.       Online and Onsite Genealogy Databases Some popular library databases for genealogy and family history include: Accessible Archives African American Newspapers - Historic newspapers published by African Americans African American Heritage - primary source material specifically for African American family history and genealogy African American Historical Newspapers - Historic newspapers published by or primarily concerned with communities of African Americans American Ancestors - US Census data & other genealogy record sets America's GeneaologyBank - a library version of this historic newspaper site Ancestry - US Census data & other genealogy record sets Biography Resource Cente…
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Faraday Bags to Protect Your Digital Files from Solar Storms and EMPs

Or "That One Weird Thing I Do." In December, I blogged about my huge digitizing push before RootsTech. I'm only a third of the way through digitizing but I do have a tip to share with anyone who likes to prepare for all the unknowns.   Faraday bags for your backup drives. Faraday bags are specialized bags that can protect electronic devices from damaging Solar Storms and Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs).       What's a Solar Storm? If you Google an up-close image of our Sun, you'll see that it's one big explosive fusion reaction and that "Every so often, a patch of particles will burst from the sun in a solar flare, which can disrupt satellite communications and knock out power on Earth." In 1859, the largest recorded Solar Storm occurred that damaged telegraph lines and even shocked telegraph operators.  National Geographic has a nice article explaining the event and comparing the effects of a similar event in our present day and age. In 1989, th…
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To Do List for BEFORE you Scan

If you're planning to digitize photos or family history items anytime soon, there are plenty of things you can do now to get ready for your scanning project. Here's a Scanning To Do List you can start plugging away at now to make your digital family history goals achievable. Each of these steps takes time and will simplify the final scanning phase.   To Do List Before You Scan

 

Gather items Think about every place you may have stored photos, letters, trinkets, etc. Set aside one place where you can pile all these items. If you're going to have to clean up this area daily, you should tackle the project in smaller doses, i.e., scrapbooks only; loose photos only; trinkets only; letters only, etc.

 

Decide your final goal for the items Friends introduced me to Clayton Christensen's Jobs-To-Be-Done Theory which I try to apply to my family history work. What job are you trying to accomplish? What product or service should you "hire" for the job? Genealogists ten…
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