30 March 2014

North Dakota State University Archives and Institute for Regional Studies reopens

It's always a good thing when a great research place stays open. It's sad when one is closed, even temporarily. In the case of the Institute for Regional Studies and the North Dakota State University Archives, that temporarily closed is now in the past. It has reopened in a new location.

I noted the announcement in the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's March 29th online edition. The article gives a good overview of the collections. It also says "It isn’t easy to find the new location of the North Dakota State University Archives. Stashed out in the old Knox Lumber Co. warehouse at 3551 7th Ave. N., it’s the last right turn before Interstate 29 on Seventh Avenue."

I used to spend a lot of time researching at the Institute when it was located in the university's main library. What a wealth of information for North Dakota and also for some families along the North Dakota and Minnesota border. 

Click here for the full article.

Click here for the repository's website with collection details and online databases. Browse the tabs for great details.

27 March 2014

2014 FGS Conference Registration is now open!

“Gone to Texas” – A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists

Online registration is now open for the 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, scheduled 27-30 August 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. Register at www.fgsconference.org by 1 July 2014 for an early-bird discount. This year’s conference theme is “Gone to Texas,” and the local hosts are the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society (SAGHS) and the Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS). 

The full program is on the website, plus hotel details, special events, other activities and more in beautiful San Antonio. I have been to Texas many times in the last 30 years but never to San Antonio and I am excited to see the Riverwalk, Alamo, and other places. 

I am a member of the FGS board of directors and love the camaraderie of FGS conferences. By the way, as you will see, the program offers something for family historians at all levels of experience.

The 2014 conference blog may be viewed here: fgsconference.org/blog/

26 March 2014

Job for a Minnesota genealogist

Carver County Historical Society, Waconia, MN, is seeking a half time genealogist/researcher. Applications will be taken until April 25, 2014, with interviews to follow early May. Interns are encouraged to apply.  To apply please email cover letter with salary requirements, and resume. Email questions preferred.
This is from the Minnesota Historical Society's Local History News for March 26, 2014. 
Read the full job description here

07 March 2014

Facebook has helpful pages you may not know about!

Have you spent time exploring Facebook? I love keeping in touch with my children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces, friends, colleagues, and others via this social media tool. High school graduating classes have pages as do families, historical societies, family organizations, surname groups, newspapers, school reunion groups, libraries, genealogical organizations and businesses, restaurants, plus even dogs and cats.

Some pages require that you ask to join and be accepted into the group. Others simply hope that you "like" the page. Whether you are on Facebook now or will be joining, be sure to click on that cog wheel in the upper right hand corner and then on settings where you will be able to set various privacy and notifications parameters.

I am learning and also having fun with some of these pages. I love the pages about St. Paul history. Most of my life was spent in St. Paul. A few of my favorite Facebook pages:

  • You know you're from Roseville MN when. . . .www.facebook.com/groups/187655801277036/ [All the cousins on my Stuart side grew up in Roseville, my family has shopped in Roseville forever, and I now live in Roseville.]
  • Mountain View Historical Association:  www.facebook.com/MVHistory [My oldest son was born in Mountain View, California when we lived there for a year.]

04 March 2014

Update on 2014 Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh

In case you didn't know, this is a reminder that the 2014 edition of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is being offered in two places this year.
  • July 20 - 25 on the serene campus of La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with 6 courses
  • August 3-8 on the beautiful campus of the Polish Mission in Orchard Lake, Michigan (suburban Detroit) with 4 courses.
There are still spots in courses at each location. Join the students, instructors, coordinators, and GRIP directors for a great week of learning. Classrooms and dorms are air conditioned, the cafeterias are handy, the education is superb, each registrant gets a course syllabus, the networking and other learning are dedicated, and fun is also guaranteed. The areas of both campuses have hotels and restaurants within a few miles. I actually like the airports in both places so that's another plus.

Just ask anyone who has attended GRIP the past two summers and you will likely find someone itching to return.

See you in both cities!

03 March 2014

Genealogy classes and events offered by MGS

MGS is the Minnesota Genealogical Society and the event and class offerings continue to expand. This "spring" has a crowded calendar. This is fantastic for everyone who desires to progress further in their family history research.

MGS has been offering special events and classes since the mid-1980s. I remember teaching the first classes at the donated old dining room table in the MGS library's first location on West 7th St. in St. Paul. 

Click on the links below for more details:

Classes: http://mngs.org/classes.htm
Events: http://mngs.org/

Don't forget to check under "About Us" for the link to Branches/Affiliates for more educational offerings. 

02 March 2014

Baby books in the UCLA Special Collections Library

I haven't looked at my baby book or those of my three children in a long time. My youngest child turns 37 in a few days so that book will bring back some great memories. Need to get that box down from the high shelf! My own mother's baby book that was started in 1926 yielded much family history information. I spent some time figuring out what the connection was to those listed as newborn and 1st birthday gift givers for her.

The University of California - Los Angeles Special Collections Library has a huge collection of baby books collected from a variety of places. The library's blog has a post from February 14th, that is titled "Grow(ing) Up! The UCLA Library Baby Record Books Collection." This year is the 10th Anniversary of the beginning of the collection.

The post's last paragraph states "The books and their handwritten and pasted-in contents have been used for research and teaching in pediatrics, printing history, economic and social status, material culture, linguistics, architecture, advertising, folklore, depictions of family, and other topics and disciplines." I sure hope that the other topics include family history.

One baby book item I found in the UCLA Library catalog:
  • Baby birth announcements, height and weight chart, and photographs for Charles Wriggins Walker, born 14 February 1914 in Buffalo, N.Y., 1914-1920.
Click here to read the full blog post.

A quick check on ArchiveGrid.org for the phrase "baby book" shows 385 entries. Keep in mind that some hits in any catalog might yield books on how to care for a baby!

01 March 2014

Thank you West Valley Genealogical Society

A week ago I was in sunny Arizona to do a seminar in Sun City for the West Valley Genealogical Society. I had the opportunity to experience a tour of their library. Wow! It's huge, has books, atlases, many computers, databases, space to research, and more. I think I could have spent several days there. What a gem for those who live in Arizona but also for the snowbirds who descend upon the state. (Oh do I wish I was one of them after this winter in Minnesota!). The library is at 12222 N. 111th Avenue, Youngtown, Arizona. Free parking right in front, too!

The group was welcoming, the seminar was well-organized, great door prizes were awarded, lunch from Paradise Bakery was awesome, and we all had great opportunities for learning and some laughs. I could not have asked for a better day.

One other highlight of the weekend was that one of their members, Linda Caldwell McCleary, was my host for the weekend. Linda and I have known each other for more years than we will publicly admit to. She is a former board member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies but we really needed some catching up time!

I mentioned door prizes and that brought about a moment in which I was speechless. Yes, me, speechless. Toward the end of the door prizes, Judy Linnebach announced some special door prizes that the speaker (me) didn't know about. Seems that their last year's seminar speaker, J. Mark Lowe, had provided three prizes of shirts that said "Genealogy by Paula" and I was totally surprised. Thanks, Mark!

I owe many thanks to Arlene Sampson and Judy among others for all the planning!

Oh, did I mention that the WVGS library has a huge sign outside?

One more thing you might want to know. The library has an obituary file. I found the obituary of one of my children's Granduncles in that file! Thank you WVGS volunteers! Plus the index is online at www.azwvgs.org/library.asp. As the website states, "The West Valley Genealogical Society Obituary database contains nearly 50,000 records dating from 1963 to the present, with a heavy concentration from the 1980’s to date. The database covers primarily the cities of NorthWestern Maricopa County, Arizona . . ."