October 18, 2013
Katherine Howe, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (New York: Hyperion, 2009).
I try to read at least a little fiction every week, usually something light, entertaining, and escapist because, hey, my normal reading is non-fiction and not usually any of those things. This book was an assignment for a class I’m taking (long story, nothing to do with genealogy). I enjoyed reading it more than I expected, not only because of the subject matter (Colonial Massachusetts and the Salem witch trials), but also because the author explained the main character’s research process to a small degree. Probate records, church archives, court cases, and obscure 17th century books all have a role in the story. What more could a geneanerd ask for?
September 21, 2013
Elizabeth Shown Mills, Gary B. Mills, Jane Fletcher Fiske, David L. Greene, Robert C. Anderson, Henry B. Hoff, Harry Macy Jr., and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, “Guidelines for Responsible Editing in Genealogy,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 84 (March 1996): 48-49.
I’m sure y’all have realized by now that I’m a bit anxious in my role as the editor of SAGA’s quarterly newsletter, The Appalachiana. Naturally, my solution is to seek advice from other editors when my confidence ebbs low. This article, for instance, was written by some of the top editors in the field at that time, and because I’ve hit my first real snag, I really needed their advice.
September 14, 2013
This week’s readings covers the past two weeks. The Autumn run of society publications is starting to trickle in.
The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, August 2013, Vol. 32, No. 4.
The lead article of this quarter’s VGS newsletter caught my eye right off the bat. In “What Genealogical Publications Have You Missed?” Eric G. Grundset discusses the decline of “paper announcements” of genealogical publications, such as book-length transcriptions, and the impact this has on researchers. In the third paragraph, Grundset discusses print-on-demand publishing:
Many authors using this type of service do not expect to make money on their publications, and their personal expenses behind the actual book production are fairly small. In addition, because of the lack of an actual print-run, books that are available from on-demand publishers are only sent for review if the author orders extra copies to send to the review media. Consequently, most authors do not do this because of the added costs, and genealogists do not learn through book reviews in journals or newsletters that such on-demand books are available for purchase.
August 23, 2013
Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Thorndike, Maine: Center Point Large Print, 2012).
There’s too much going on around here for any serious reading, but I managed to finish this book earlier in the week. I learned quite a bit about the current research into personality traits like introversion and extroversion, including their physiological bases. Quiet didn’t change my life; I’m not melodramatic enough to assert that, but it did give me quite a great deal to ponder. This is especially true in regards to my own son, who is more outgoing than I am and not nearly as shy, but still an introvert.
If you are an introvert, or if you live or work with one, then please take the time to read Quiet.
Association of Professional Genealogists, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Vol. XXVIII, No. 2, June 2013.
My copy of the June issue of the APGD came in a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t have time to do anything more than skim through it until yesterday. I was particularly interested in “A Peek Under the Umbrella: Life as a Professional Genealogist,” a collection of articles written by several top-notch professional genealogists, including practitioners with advanced degrees and/or credentials. Each discussed different aspects of being or becoming a professional genealogist, from the pre-Internet days of research, to the necessity for diversifying one’s skills, to the impact of credentialing on one’s career, and a few things in between.
I also noted the overwhelming number of new APG members, which took up about a page and a quarter. From discussions I’ve had with other genealogists, I gather that this is only one sign of the number of people who are surging into the profession. Only time will tell if this is a positive development for the field.
August 9, 2013
Genealogy-related reads over the past week.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Good Genealogical Writing,” originally published in OnBoard 4 (May 1986): 16; available online through the Skillbuilding section of the Board for Certification of Genealogists web site. I love the BCG web site, because it has some really useful educational tools, including reproductions of articles that appeared in past issues of OnBoard. I read all of those articles when I first discovered the web site (and continue to read “new” articles as they are added), but I also periodically review the articles I’ve found to be most useful, including this one.
August 2, 2013
I read an awful lot of material every week, most of it pertaining to genealogy and related fields. Here are a few of the things I’ve read this past week.
The Genealogical Reader edited by Noel C. Stevenson (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1958). One good thing about the APG mailing list is that members will occasionally post books they’ve weeded from their own libraries in the hopes that another member will have use for those particular books. A while back, I lucked out and procured through the list a discarded library copy of this book. I had a little time this past week, so I pulled it out one night and spent a few hours devouring it.