Libraries aren't just about books, librarians are fond of saying. I remember being shocked when I first saw my children's school library and it was full of computers. It wasn't even called a library - it was called a Resource Centre.
But it was run by a fantastic librarian with an unpronouncable name and boy did my kids learn about technology. By Grade 3 they were creating PowerPoint presentations. I was amazed. This was obviously well before I was a librarian. I was a library lover but I didn't know much about what went into libraries or how access to information was managed.
By now you're probably beginning to appreciate that you won't be able to have everything you want in your own personal genealogy library (nor would you want to)....there just isn't enough room. But it is possible to gain access to the vast resources of other libraries to complement your own collection.
So I have highlighted the National Library of Australia to remind you about access to its e-Resources. Most people think of Trove when they think of the NLA but it is so much more than Newspapers (although I can't imagine life without Trove now can you?).
If you haven't got a library card yet for the NLA you need to get hopping. You can sign up for one here.
You can tell I was desperate using this word can't you? I confess I've been using a dictionary of library terms to help me with this A to Z challenge and this one stuck out.
We've already spoken about maps and images but don't forget all the other things that could conceivably be in your genealogy library - CDs, slides, movies, audio recordings, pamphlets, files.
I have CDs such as Extracts from Portsmouth Records 1891 and Queensland Passports Index 1915-25, not to mention the giveaway CDs that come with magazines.
Gould Genealogy offers a whole bunch of resources through Archive Digital Books Australasia and gen-ebooks often at quite substantial discounts in comparison to the hard copy e.g. to purchase Shauna Hicks Your Family History Archives book is only $3.95 in the soft copy or on PDF but $8.25 in hard copy. So you're saving money as well as saving space.
I will talk about the preservation of items like these in a future post but you do need to start cataloguing or recording and/or digitizing what you have so when you down-size or that wretched bus comes around the corner, your family know what's what.
I hope you aren't going numb with boredom. We're more than half way through this challenge and we're on the downhill run.
When I first started making notes about what I could use for each letter, I thought about authors or authorities in the family history area that I should mention. Cora Num came to mind. I have a few of her publications:
eRecords for Family History
Irish research on the internet
Internet Family History
I was lucky enough to see Cora Num speak at the 14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry in Canberra - albeit virtually. You can read my summing up of her sessions on this post.
Her books on shipping and migration are on my wish-list.
If you haven't visited her wonderful gateway website, hop to it now.
Why don't you start with her Newspaper gateway?