Monday, May 10, 2010
A Teachable Moment
One of our student workers who was working in Interlibrary Loan came to me to ask for assistance locating an "article" she needed to retrieve. As I looked at the request, I noticed that the requesting library wanted to borrow 4 microfilmed rolls of the 1850 slave schedules. I told her that they were really wanting to borrow the microfilm (which we do not loan via ILL). She showed that the library had filled in the article line with "slave schedules." I decided to show her what the slave schedules were. I popped up the 1850 Jefferson County, Tennessee slave schedule and showed her how it listed the slave owners and the demographics for each slave. I told her that it did not name the slaves -- just the owners. It really caught her interest, and she began to ask questions. I told her that she could often find the names of the slaves in deeds and in probate records. She was amazed that these records still existed. I'm glad I took the time to show her what had been requested. I hope it may have sparked an interest in genealogical research.