Monday, May 4, 2015

Three ways to get your genealogy material out there without actually publishing

A recent discussion on the Transitional Genealogists Forum got into the question of how we can get our research findings "out there" without actually publishing them. I myself am a big advocate of getting stuff published, but it's worth knowing that there are alternatives. The first two came up in the discussion, and the third didn't occur to me until it was over.

(1) FamilySearch accepts various kinds of record donations.

(2) The Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center has a "photocopy exchange" program, where if you send them a manuscript, they'll bind one copy for you and one for their shelves.

(3) National Genealogical Society writing contest winner gets published in the NGS Quarterly, but other entries can end up in the NGS book loan collection at the St. Louis County Public Library. I was surprised and mostly pleased when I heard from someone who had located and read my non-winning submission on a Wisconsin family from back in 2008. "Mostly" pleased because that work had some deficiencies that I've always intended to fix . . .

The good thing about publishing in journals, instead of the above, is that some of them have editors who will help us improve our reasoning and writing. (And all of them need more material!) So I'm still a big advocate of that; the only way I'll become a lesser advocate would be if I went on a diet.

What all these options require is that we Actually. Write. Something. Do it! It's the best method of preservation.


KevinW said...

What about blogging? Is that going to have any permanence?

Harold Henderson said...

Kevin, I'd say a blog is already a publication. If you want it to last, make multiple backups, maybe even including hard copy. Changing formats could be trouble in the long run. Just my personal guesses, no actual knowledge here!