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#AtoZChallenge - E is for eResources, Encyclopedias and Evidence

Libraries are as much about digital resources these days as physical 3D items.

If you haven't already availed yourself of membership of your local public library card, you are missing out.

Make sure you have a library card for your state library and the national library too.  All of them have access to different eResources and it would be a shame to not use them. Check out some of the offerings here, here and here.

Looking for a genealogical encyclopedia?  Look no further than Eastman's.  But if you want to hold something in your hands and flick through it then the Who Do You Think You Are: the encylopedia of genealogy : the definitive reference guide to tracing your family history by Nick Barrett isn't bad either.

"There is nothing like first-hand evidence"
A Study in Scarlet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

What books/references do you need to make sure that you are citing things properly or that you're showing the Evidence for your research?

Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown-Mills seems to be the bible and I bought a 2nd-hand copy on Abebooks as previously highlighted by the lovely Carmel.  I'd be lying if I said I'd read it.  You really don't read this book.  It's more of a reference tool.

If you find it too intimidating (it is a rather weighty tome) then something like Citing historical sources: a manual for family historians by Noeline Kyle should be the ticket.

If you want to drill down into whether or not your work will pass muster with the genealogy police, then you might also want to grab a copy of Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case by Christine Rose.  

Of course a Style Manual never goes astray either.....all family historians want to be known as stylish.

Here is evidence of me being stylish for a second last year travelling home from Canada on the Dreamliner.  Thankfully I have stylish friends who lend me their wardrobes so I can fool everyone ;) Yes, I may have indulged in some wine a little later into the flight.

What do you think about evidence, proof, standards and style? Are the benchmarks too high or too low?


Love the photo! Excellent post and resources. I'm told the binder on Evidence Explained loosens with usage, which I am looking forward to!
Sue Bursztynski said…
With parents whose families were mostly wiped out in the Holocaust I really don't have much to go on with records, but it's amazing what you can find on line these days, even the very limited, which is really only meant for Anglos whose family came out with the convicts, had a record of my Dad's cousin arriving in Fremantle by ship in the 1960s.

However, as a librarian I do believe in getting your research right, whatever it is. And yes, the State Library of Victoria is an excellent place for research and my card enables me to use their various e resources from home. Even the local library can afford to subscribe to Britannica and Choice. I draw my students' attention to the usefulness of being a member, even if you never go there(though some do, to do homework when they don't have the Internet at home).

We are very lucky in our National Library. I haven't found another one that has the likes of Trove. Pity the budget has been scrapped for that so no updates now, while this government is in power!
TravelGenee said…
I really like the idea of getting a secondhand copy of Elizabeth's book. I thought I would like one and when I saw the price had to sit down. Where did you find it ?
Anne Young said…
It is so important to say how you know so people can follow on behind and review your conclusions. Consistency in citations is probably a good thing but I am always keen to move on so I feel as long as I have adequately described where I got the information from she'll be right. Our American cousins seem more thorough.

Eresources through our State and National libraries are marvellous :)

Visiting from A to Z and Australian Family History Bloggers

E is for Eden Park, home of Wentworth Cavenagh


Anne Young

Anne's family history
Stopping by via the A to Z Challenge. A really interesting subject and I like the look of your Dreamliner - I haven't heard of it before - is it a train or a plane? Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace
ElenaSquareEyes said…
Really interesting post! One of the things I miss about Uni and writing my dissertation is all the research and hunting for resources - it was always equal parts fun and frustrating :D
Today on my list of favourite things, E is for Emma Garland
GeniAus said…
I say Bah Humbug to the Genealogy Police. For many of us genealogy is a hobby/leisuretime activity not an academic pursuit.

I believe in diligence and accuracy but agree we must provide evidence to support our assertions but I will not be bound by a complex set of rules developed by an American 'expert'. I will cite clearly and concisely so that anyone wanting to check out my sources will be able to find them. If I have to cite properly for publication then Harvard is my choice.

Jill - Blogging the #AtoZChallenge at
Alex Daw said…
Thank you everyone for your comments. I have just had my dinner and am having a sit down after the frenetic pace of school holidays in public libraryland!. Molly I am so pleased you found the post useful. Sue - it sounds like your State Library of Victoria is getting a well deserved upgrade. I can't wait to see its new incarnation. Fran I got my copy of Evidence Explained through Betterworld Books. SENCO Cat Herder - a dreamliner is a plane. It can do some pretty amazing take offs..have a look at You Tube. Jill Ball - I love your passion!
Deepa said…
Lovely photo
very Enchanting & yes I love to read the Encyclopedia :-)
Unknown said…

I agree with you that everyone should have a library card though our system (like education) is below the mark.

Happy A to Zing

A Piece of Uganda
Carrie-Anne said…
Libraries have so many great resources! Though I don't live in a metropolis, I live within about a 20-mile radius of quite a few libraries, each with a different kind of character. Someday I'd love to move home to Pittsburgh, which has some great libraries, larger than most of the ones in my current area.
crgalvin said…
Late to the party but I think it was Anne who referred to Abe books. I'm with Anne and Jill. I do my best to give good citations so others may find the reference but am not going to be bound by following a particular set of rules. This is a hobby.
Sharon Himsl said…
These are good suggestions. Thank you! I'm glad libraries are still alive and well. We have a tiny 2-room library 8 miles down the road and a 'dream' library 1 hr away. Both work depending on the need.

"Female Scientists Before Our Time"

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