Wednesday, April 12, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - J is for Journals

Journals.  I have a few.  And I am always running out of magazine boxes in which to store them.  I have all my copies of the Queensland Family Historian which is my Society's journal.  The Society is encouraging its members to switch to an e-version to better use funds for resources and equipment replacement. I haven't done that yet.  Can I make the leap?

I have also indulged in purchases of various magazines ranging from Who Do You Think You Are?  and History Today to Family Tree Magazine and the very beautiful but shortly to become defunct Inside History.   The Australian War Memorial puts out a good quarterly publication called Wartime.  And of course Australian Family Tree Connections.  Not to mention the magazines of any other societies of which I am a member.  Yass and District Historical Society Inc publishes Boongaroon and the Central Scotland Family History Society has its own Newsletter.

There are perhaps too many good magazines.  

I watched a Legacy webinar recently (50 websites every genealogist should know by Gena Philbert-Ortega and got "sucked-in" as we like to say in Australia to buying yet another magazine called Discover your Ancestors.  This is a really beautiful glossy publication which comes out once a year. Perhaps that's the sort of frequency I can handle. It has articles by Jayne Shrimpton, Chris Paton and Ruth A Symes to name a few highly regarded authorities.  It came with what seems to be the obligatory DVD on the front containing free software and collections and a temporary subscription to The Genealogist. Not to be sneezed at to be sure. But do I have the time to even load it in my machine and check out all the offers?

To the publishers credit there is an index at the back of the magazine which groups over 550 articles under subject headings for your reference e.g. DNA, Research Resources, Photography, Names, Military, Occupations, Costume, Countries, Religion, Education.  Now that's really useful.

Do I ever refer to these journals?  Not really.  I suspect they are dust gatherers and I would be better off giving them the big heave-ho. Does anyone else suffer from a similar malaise?

Is it a case of poor time management, short attention spans or are we getting our information in a different way these days?

I shall be covering this later in the alphabet under W for Weeding and Wondering.

What do you think?  Are journals worth keeping?  Do you refer to them in your research?


Sandra Williamson said...

Hi, Alex, you ask some thought provoking questions so I thought I send a few thoughts through:-
Are journals worth keeping?
Probably not but I love having them. I have stopped buying them as I hate dusting, sorting and rearranging them.And they are becoming way too expensive.
Do you refer to them in your research?
Yes all the time, but find it's better when I can search them digitally or put time aside to just read. That's why libraries are so great you go there with the intention of reading and searching, I also include online libraries in this mix.
Dropping by from the A to Z Challenge.
Sandra, Aspiring family historian, fellow participant in the #AtoZchallenge

Sandra's Ancestral Research Journal

Jill Ball said...

As I am in the throes of downsizing my genealibrary I am thinking of tossing old journals. I must confess that I am not a great journal reader (especially some of the dull ones that come from genealogy societies) as I am a proponent of "Just in time learning" (which we learnt a university was most effective) and much of the stuff in them is irrelevant to my needs and doesn't pique my interest at the time it arrives.

Cathy Kennedy said...

I think reading an old journal, especially one that belongs to a family member would be interesting to read. I always wanted to be a good journal keeper but not having time and failure to see anything interesting about my ordinary life kept this at bay. I recently began recording events no matter how small taking place. I haven't established a good routine but hopefully, with time I will develop a good rhythm. Please JUMP over to look at today's edition of Art Sketching Through the Alphabet Letter "J" and happy a2zing!

Molly of Molly said...

The beauty of the journals, especially the ones that tell a well-documented ancestral story, is the legacy they leave for future researchers. I am forever grateful to my collateral relative (many times removed) who documented our common ancestor for the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, leaving a breadcrumb trail for me to follow. That said, I usually keep only one year of the printed edition and refer to past issues online.

Alex Daw said...

Some great thoughts here Sandra, Jill, Cathy and Molly. Sandra - I brought home more 2nd hand magazines from the library yesterday...what a goose. I can't resist. Truly hopeless. Jill - such an important point about just in time learning. Yes indeed. Cathy, yes of course...I completely forgot the double meaning of Journal. I certainly wouldn't be throwing those out - unless they were mine and turgid, which many of mine were. But yes - journalling is very important too as a personal habit I find. Particularly as I get older and stuff just seems to fade away and be forgotten or years slip by really quickly and I think, when did that happen. Which is why I like letters...which of course is increasingly a lost art - sigh.

crgalvin said...

I don't keep journals but now make a point of scanning any "might be useful" articles and saving them to Evernote. I scan the edition details either the cover or title page and the article and add a few tags. I rarely revisited the paper copies of journals and it will be interesting to see how many times I now actually look at articles saved.