Monday, April 19, 2010

CGSSD Meeting Review - Del Ritchhart's Trips

I enjoyed Del Ritchhart's photo summaries of his trips to Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City during 2009. Del was the program at the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) meeting on Saturday, 17 April, and there were about 70 people in attendance. He took both trips with the San Diego Genealogical Society, and was able to use his free week's stay at the Plaza Hotel in SLC that he won in an SDGS drawing.

Del's advice for distant library goers was to plan ahead for your trip, and to take advantage of the opportunity if you have ancestral families in nearby towns. When Del went to Fort Wayne, he flew into Chicago, rented a car, researched in several towns in Illinois and then in Indianapolis before getting to Fort Wayne. It looked like he had a great time in the ancestral towns and in Fort Wayne.

1. The Genealogy Center on the second floor of the Allen County Public Library is impressive. There are over 350 thousand printed books, including 55 thousand family histories, over 500 thousand microfilms, and many periodicals. The library provides computer access to, HeritageQuestOnline and New England Ancestors, and has wireless Internet throughout the building.

Microfilms are filed by locations - right on the film boxes and the film drawers. The microfilm computer readers permit the user to transfer images to USB drives or to print them out. The Help desk people are really helpful.

The Allen County Public Library website is, and when you use the Genealogy tab you can find research helps and a catalog search. The PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) - which indexes articles in many genealogy periodicals - is available to use, and the periodicals are either on the shelf or on microfilm.

2. Del's weeklong trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City was highly profitable and fun with the society colleagues. They had a good tour of the city and the Great Salt Lake on the Sunday they arrived. Each person in the group had a tour of the library, and an hour with a professional researcher during the week, which was helpful.

Del outlined the holdings of the Family History Library, and the layout of the library with five floors of books and microfilms. He mentioned that copy cards cost $1 to purchase, but photocopies were only 5 cents each and prints from microfilm images were 23 cents each. The FHL has some microfilm scanner units that permit the user to capture microfilm images to their USB drive for free.

The first hour of the CGSSD meeting was devoted to groups on Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic and Reunion for the Mac. I attended the RootsMagic class, and Ruth Himan has summarized her experiences there in her blog post RootsMagic on her Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me blog.

1 comment:

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