Monday, January 5, 2009

The Great White Whale and March Madness

In some ways, the semi-legendary State Historical Society of Wisconsin's Draper Manuscript
Collection is the Great White Whale of mid-continent genealogy -- too big to spear, too scary even to approach. Writing in the Allen County Public Library's e-newsletter "Genealogy Gems" for 30 November, Steven W. Myers suggests several approaches available at the library, including Josephine Harper's "Guide to the Draper Manuscripts" (call number 016.978 H23g) "In addition to detailed descriptions of each manuscript volume's contents and a general index," he writes, "useful appendices include an index to Revolutionary War pension applicants, an index to the names of authors, cartographers, correspondents and interviewees, and an extensive inventory of maps present in the collection." Next visit I promise to give this a shot.

Next visit could be in March: Melissa Shimkus and Delia Bourne list seven classes in the first seven days of the month. Detailed descriptions and registration information will be available at Genealogy Special Programs, but in the meantime topics look like beginning-to-intermediate level topics, including Southern lore, Flickr, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and evaluating published family histories.

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