#AtoZChallenge - H is for Handbooks, Handwriting, Historical Fiction and Hathi Trust Digital Library
We all have our favourite handbooks I am sure when it comes to genealogy and family history. Whilst some of the information may be out of date (organisations change their names, physical street addresses and URL addresses) I still refer to Nick Vine-Hall's Tracing Your Family History in Australia because it is set out so logically: state by state, then subjects e.g. immigration, religion and then location of records and record types and then territories. What a godsend that book has been.
On a different topic, to be sure, but similar in its lovely logical layout is Tracing Your Irish Ancestors by John Grenham.
Have you got a favourite handbook?
Handwriting - when I first started out in this hobby I quickly became aware that I would need to learn a thing or two about Reading old handwriting. Eve McLaughlin's little guide is full of great information and tips and images to set you on the right path. Eve is the Secretary and Editor of the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society. I don't know what I would have done without her lovely little guides over the years. They are usually slim little volumes (this one is 20 pages) but it comes with a Bibliography and chatty observations of interest probably only to family historians e.g.
"The problem capitals are S and L which look remarkably similar, causing readers to claim a Lawyer as ancestor when he was a Sawyer" (p.3)
Of course nowadays there are fabulous online tutorials to guide you as well such as this TNA palaeography tutorial here.
Addendum: and this great link via Crissouli's blog today.
Historical Fiction - sometimes we need a break from all the facts and want to let our mind wander and imagine what it might have been like for our ancestors. What better way than some historical fiction. Looking for your next great historical fiction read? With your library card you can access some great databases to help you find your next book. The library service I work for has a page here with some suggested resources. Books and Authors is a great database where you can search by genre and then historical era e.g. Regency or War of 1812. Daniel S Burt has written a great article on this site about historical fiction which is worth reading. At the end of the article, Daniel recommends some great reference guides for historical fiction and some great websites such as the Historical Novel Society and Of Ages Past . Who else writes like? is another great database.
Hathi Trust Digital Library
This is a partnership of research libraries from around the world including such institutions as the New York Public Library, Library of Congress, Princeton University, Standford University and University of Queensland offering a collection of digitized titles. You can search the collection here either by full text or catalogue. You can search user-created collections and yes, there is one created by sarokin called Ancestry and Genealogy. It was last updated in 2011 so I'm thinking you would find many more additional titles to the 2760 that sarokin found. You can find a user's guide to the Hathi Trust Digital Library here.
Hallelujah! That's H done. Hit me with your handy hints for setting up a terrific genealogy library.