My colleague Kyle Denlinger (eLearning Librarian at Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library) is designing & facilitating RootsMOOC: Introduction to Genealogy and Family History Research in partnership with the State Library of North Carolina. As part of this initiative, he asked me to create a video providing some tips for genealogists about how to search digital collections for their family history and explaining why not everything is online. Here’s what I came up with!
Although a diarist’s principle of selection—what he chooses to include and what he chooses to pass over—may remain mysterious, I think we can gain a little bit of insight into Hunt’s evolving view of his own journal. From an early commitment to keep a journal so that he might simply learn to “number his days,” Hunt came to see his journal as a way to “read” his life in the same way that he read other spiritual accounts, and for the same purpose.
A few days ago I got a letter from my friend Taryn in the mail. She’s interning at a public library, cataloguing a collection of antebellum correspondence that includes the letters of two very close female friends. In the spirit of their friendship, she wrote a post-script in their letter-writing layout—as she puts it, the “nifty nineteenth century paper saving habit of filling up a page then turning the paper ninety degrees and writing across what you already wrote.”
I was never the least bit superstitious until I was Editor-in-Chief of The Stormy Petrel and discovered that our computers sometimes lost files. For no reason. At all. The two weeks after graduation didn’t do anything to counteract my newly superstitious mind. Three things, more or less unexpectedly, occurred in twos.