The Long Silence

To all, I apologize for the long silence.  It has been too difficult to keep up with everything else and also keep active with a blog.  But there are some new developments at the IGS Library that should be noted.

Those who come in might ask volunteer (and nominee to our Board) Janine Pizano about a project she and I are working on, and which was her idea, namely to build a database on our family histories and genealogies that goes beyond the catalog entry to specifically note information (such as major allied family names, time focus, major places of residence, etc.) that could assist researchers to learn about possible book resources they wouldn’t otherwise consult.  Databases, once constructed, are easily searchable.  And we want to see our books get more use and our researchers find more success.

A project of mine that now has received our Board’s approval, but which isn’t producing tangible results just yet, is to cull old research files and extract usable material (such as detailed request letters from lookup requestors, pedigree charts, document photocopies, etc.) to be filed according to major family in our surname files vertical file cabinets.  I found that — for the first 1,000 requests, dated from the late ‘80s — only 6% of requests had worthwhile material that should be saved to help others.  For the rest, we still have the volumes that were consulted to provide answers to the requests, so there’s really no need (this many years later) to save what we sent the requestors, as the search could be repeated easily if needed again.

Both of these projects are aimed at making what we have more available and useful to researchers.  Janine’s database project is partway into the letter “B,” and has covered exactly one shelf of books to date.  My filing project won’t immediately do anything beyond add to our IGS surname files, and there’s a lot of reorganizing of those files that also has to be done before they’ll be truly user-friendly.  And, at the moment, the papers selected for preservation have yet to be actually filed where they belong, so the project is only at the start.

But do come visit the Library.  New things are happening!