03 July 2017

Archivegrid – The Manuscript Collection Resource You NEED to Check out!

Archivegrid – The Manuscript Collection Resource You NEED to Check out!

Over the course of the summer, I plan to republish some older blog posts written about some of my favorite resources …

Archivegrid is another “go to” resource for me.  So many genealogical gems are hidden in manuscript collections.  Historically, that was mainly due to the fact that it was very challenging to figure out who held what manuscript (aka private) collections.  Now with Archivegrid and related platforms, we can get insight into manuscript collections – who holds them and increasingly the linked finding aids reveal digitized content!

I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t done a dedicated blog on this website before!  And, phew, I realized that I had done a post as a follow up to NGS 2014!

Originally published 26 May 2014 … (links checked and still seem to be working!)

NGS 2014 Family History Conference – Session T260 – Diving into Archives: Uncovering ArchiveFinder and ArchiveGrid

T260 (R) Diving into Archives: Uncovering ArchiveFinder and ArchiveGrid, D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, Syllabus page 283

The talk was great in reminding us how many archives there are in the world and also the enormous task that archives are faced with in terms of identifying what they have and making their materials accessible to the public.

Recently, an archivist had mentioned ArchiveGrid to me.  I did play around with it a bit though I didn’t appreciate using the “summary view” vs the “list view” mode as described by Joshua and that is the way I will look at results in the future.  A long list of results was tedious to go through and it lacked contextual information; not so when using the summary view mode.  Searching on “wake county” ledger brought up 14 results now characterized in a much easier-to-digest mode (see graphic above).  Finding aids, if available from the participating institutions, are included in the search.

Joshua also suggested subscribing to the ArchiveGrid blog, which I have just done, to keep current on new collections.  The most recent post was about 13 newly registered institutions from Australia and New Zealand.  Good news for anyone researching for ancestors “down under.” [Editor’s Note – The blog seems to have been discontinued in late 2014. The site landing page does have a Recent Additions box]

I was unfamiliar with ArchiveFinder (Proquest) and that might be more explained by it being available only to institutional subscribers. ArchiveFinder is a current directory which describes over 220,000 collections housed in repositories in the US, UK and Ireland.

I was also unfamiliar with the Library of Congress Authorities list.  Since many libraries, archives and other repositories use this system as the basis for their cataloguing.  Having an understanding of what headings/references have been catalogued can help you better search in any catalogs that you come across.

So, two news tools in my genealogical research arsenal.

The associated syllabus pages provide a lot of detail about what you might find in each of these resources and how to best search the contents to identify possibly relevant archival material.

Missed the preceding posts on Linkpendium and Death Online? Just search on “Upfront with NGS” and the above words.

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