Sunday, June 22, 2008

Research Tip # 1

If you are looking for a hard to find book or an archive collection, a good place to start is World Cat website. This is a listing of books and archives that are in libraries all over the world. You can search by title, author, keywords. Not every library is a member so this is not a guarantee that you will find what you are looking for and just because you don't find it doesn't mean it is not out there somewhere.

For example, a small non-profit library may have to pay $2000 a year to be able to have their collection show up in a search. The items they hold may show up but the library location will not. I have donated a copy of my Hill Family genealogy to a local library and if I search for it, it will come up on World Cat but it will say that no library has the item. That is because the library can't afford the fee.

However you can find books and archives in libraries that are close to you and may have interlibrary loan. When doind research on the Ringgold Cavalry I entered the name of the author of one of the books that I have and found that his personal papers from the writing of the book are held in an archive at Emory University.

Try it out and see what you can discover - things you've been looking for and things you didn't even know existed. Have Fun!!

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