Tuesday, July 24, 2012

GRIP - Tuesday evening

First I need to talk about last night's "extra" session.  Pam Stone Eagleson spoke for about an hour about writing.  WOW!!!  I had an opportunity to talk with her at breakfast today and told her that she made the process seem simple but not easy.  The basic steps are simple enough for each of us to follow.  The difficult part is going to research, after the family facts research, that is necessary to make an interesting narrative.  I still need to do a little more fact research before I think about writing.  Of course, I need to do a lot more other research also. 

Well, Maia's books to the rescue.  Martha set up books for us just outside the cafeteria.  She had so many different types, but there were a few that are going to give me some historical perspective.  I know I have a few at home also, that I haven't read yet.  Now I have more motivation.  So I just have to find the time.

Now on to today, Tuesday's sessions.  Our Intermediate class began at 8:30 with Paula walking us through citations.  Yes, we all have some experience with them, but we had some good discussions about how to handle unusual situations.  I haven't been very diligent about recording when I accessed a record, particularly an online one.  Paula, and others, explained why this is important.  I'm definitely going to be more careful with this; and with my software program, it's really not that hard.  I've just been "neglecting" that box, thinking that it wasn't really that important.  I'm not going to any more.

The next morning session, Josh Taylor came in and gave us great information about JSTOR.  I had never heard of it and I need to work with it a lot more before I understand it, but it's a great resource for academic writings on 55 (I think Josh said) different topics.  Most of us in the class were able to acccess JSTOR through the LaRoche College library site.  Lucky us.  There are a few places in Arizona that have JSTOR.  I just need to find out which ones and see if there are any I can access remotely also.  (I love researching "after hours".)  

Original Manuscripts was Paula's first session after lunch.  Oh, I hope I can find some great things my ancestors left.  I'm lucky to have some, but it's really amazing what is available and at so many different repositories.  Manuscripts regarding mid-American ancestors are at repositories from the University of Virginia to Bancroft Library at the University of California and many places in between.  A major point I learned is to not limit my search of documents to just the locations where I thought my ancestors lived.  Original manuscripts can be anywhere AND since they are one of a kind, we can't just find them locally.

Last for today was Paula talking about Government Records.  I must admit that I was really brain-tired by 3:30, so I didn't process as much information as I would have liked.  But with the syllabus and my notes, and some rest, I'm sure I will be able to research some of the wide variety of records that the federal government keeps and has stored in repositories all over the country.  I did remember that we need to look at libraries/repositories that are not just NARA facilities.  Many university libraries, as well as perhaps a few others, are federal repositories, so these places also have records that we may be able to access.  Great information  but I'm going to have to do some good searching  before I use these. 

I have a little homework for tonight, and I'll see if I can get the timeline with surnames done.  It feels funny not being able to do it all online and then just printing out a copy.  Oh, well.  (Should I try to bring a printer with me next year?)  I'll have to think about it.