Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NGS Reflections: Part II - Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday morning I had to be at the convention center by 7:00 a.m. so we could begin registering folks who were just arriving before the 8:00 opening session. When I arrived at 6:45, the NGS folks were already doing on-site registration, so I grabbed our boxes of pre-registrations and got into action. I worked registration until about 9:45 a.m. when I had to go to monitor training. I was room monitor for Thomas W. Jones' presentation "Solutions for Missing or Scarce Records" at 11:00 a.m. After that, I attended the NCGS Luncheon where Helen Leary spoke on "Using Peculiar Records to Find the Rest of the Story." After that I monitored Jeff Haines' 2:30 p.m. session on "North Carolina Tax Records." I went back to the registration desk to help pack up things after this. Wednesday was society night. I helped at the NCGS table part of the time, but I did have time to visit some of the tables. I'm particularly excited about the free issues I picked up from Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society. I'm working on a project with another genealogist that involves someone who resided in Davidson County. I am really not quite ready to get into the Davidson County research on the person because I've got a few records to acquire in a couple of other counties first. However, there was a published tax list in one of the journals that listed this person. I shared the "find" with the other genealogist. We were both excited that a freebie could be so helpful to our research. After this several of us went to The Pit, a downtown barbecue restaurant, to eat. It was quite good.

Thursday I monitored "Collaboration and Cooperation: The Family History Archive--A Digital Partnership FHL/BYU/ACPL/HPL/MCPL" which was presented by Susan D. Kaufman of Houston Public Library and Michael J. Hall of the project. I'll be quite honest. This is not a session I would have attended had I not been monitoring. I think that God puts us in situations for reasons sometimes. This was basically a session about the Family History Archive digital books project. I had already used it extensively, but as I was sitting there listening to them, an idea came to me. We use the netLibrary e-books collection in our library, and we're able to purchase MARC records for them to dump into our online catalog. I decided to go up after the session and ask Susan (the librarian) whether they had MARC records available through Marcive or another vendor. She admitted that they had not even considered that, but that it was really a very good idea. I'm hoping that they will be able to follow up on that idea and make those available to increase access. The types of books they are digitizing would be wonderful for many academic libraries to include. Did I learn a lot from the session? Probably not. However, I think I was put there to ask that question. I was having trouble determining whether or not to attend Craig Scott's "Quaker Migration Into North Carolina and Out Again" or Helen Leary's "Genealogical Standards: Obsolete Model T or Space-Age Air Car?" at 9:30 a.m. After reviewing the syllabi for the two, I discovered that Craig's session did not appear to be covering the one group of Quaker immigrants in which I was interested--the ones who went to Nova Scotia and who were loyalists. I found a friend who was going to that session to "spy" for me and get back with me on that, and I went to Helen's which was also closer to the session I would be monitoring at 11 a.m. We don't get to Helen at the conferences much any more, and she's such a fountain of knowledge. I'm really glad I went to that one. At 11 a.m., I monitored Jeff Haines' "South Carolina Research." I'd actually heard Jeff do that one before, but I still picked up some new stuff because I'm more involved in South Carolina research now than I was when I heard him do it in Richmond. After that was the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History Luncheon. Jeff Haines spoke on "Merchants, Planters, and Pirates: British in the West Indies." It was a very interesting luncheon talk! I worked the hospitality desk from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and then I went over to the North Carolina Museum of History where we got ready ready for those who had signed up for the dessert reception, tours, and talks there. People were also able to go take a tour of the Archives across the street. I was on the sign-in desk for the first half, and then I went to the auditorium and distributed the syllabus for Jeff Haines' talk "People Finders of North Carolina." Everyone seemed to really enjoy the event.

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