Thought For The Day: 21st Century Record Searching

Thanks again to James Tanner of Genealogy’s Star blog. He’s a deep thinker who can get me (Deason Hunt, your editor ) thinking.

In his latest post on Genealogy’s Star

(http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/2012/11/primary-and-secondary-sources-looking.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FGACzzI+%28Genealogy%27s+Star%29) titled Primary and Secondary Sources — Looking beyond the Census, he makes the following comment about finding records.

“What, you say, actually go somewhere to search for records? How Twentieth Century! Yes, I suppose, since genealogist(s) dwell in the past that we are still retro and searching paper records. But until I find local records being digitized wholesale online, I will still get in my car and drive to the libraries and other repositories.”

The thought I had was this: If we are truly non-profit or non-profit-spirited service organizations, shouldn’t we be working diligently to get as many of our local records available and online for free searching for those who can’t come to our physical collections because of distance, cost, or other inability to travel?

If such a spirit were to become common among local societies, then we would all be busy serving each other. Except for those genealogy businesses who have to turn a profit to stay in business, this is not out of reach. Charging for information and thus keeping it harder to come by is also so Twentieth Century.

Note: The above is a personal opinion of the editor of the Wood County Genealogical Society Bulletin.

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