So You've Researched Your Genealogy...Now What?
Every day Denver Public Library's Western History/Genealogy Department hosts a steady stream of amateur and professional genealogists who steadfastly research their family history. These folks are incredibly dedicated and come up with an incredible array of facts, figures, and photos that document the people who came before them.
The big question for these researchers, and indeed, all researchers, is what the heck should they do with all this data once they've uncovered it? After all, information doesn't do anybody any good if it's locked away in a notebook that no one ever sees.
While some researchers present their findings in books with titles like, American Birdsong Ancestry: The Descendants of John and Elizabeth Birdsong (Circa 1682-1732) Through Five Generations, this option isn't for everyone. (That said, books like American Birdsong Ancestry are invaluable genealogical resources and get a lot more use than you think.)
Another option is one that a member of our Italian Research Group chose, a targeted scrapbook. This book (pictured above) is something well beyond a hodgepodge of photocopied census records, postcards, photos, and actual scraps. Its creators chose to focus their efforts specifically on the North Denver homes their family members lived in over the generations.
This targeted technique gives researchers a place to focus the presentation of their research that's palatable to family members who may not share the genealogist's passion for vital statistics. In this case, it even gave the family a fair amount of quality time as they drove through the old neighborhood photographing family houses (or, in many cases, the modernist buildings that stand on the scraped lots where their family homes once stood).
The point here is that your family members who aren't all that interested in family history may have a change of heart when they see the fruits of the genealogist's labor presented in a manner that's more approachable than your standard pedigree chart.
If you're interested in learning more about how to package up your genealogical research, check out some of these titles that are housed in our Genealogy collection:
- Creating Your Family Heritage Scrapbook: From Ancestors to Grandchildren, Your Complete Resource and Idea Book for Creating a Treasured Heirloom by Maria Given Nerius.
- Scrapbooking Your Family History by Maureen A. Taylor.
- You Can Write Your Family History by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
And if you're interested in learning more about your Italian heritage, please join our Italian Research Group on the first Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the 10th Mountain Division Room on Level 5 of the Central Library. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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