Thursday, May 14, 2015

NGS2015: Day Two

Today was Day Two of the National Genealogical Society's Family History Conference.

I arrived shortly before 8am for my first session of the day: Transcription, Abstraction, and the Records, presented by Rev. David McDonald. I thought it would be an appropriate session to attend due to the series of transcriptions I have made for Amanuensis Monday. The documents he chose were late 18th early 19th century handwritten documents, reminding me of an 18th century will I was unable to decipher. Rev. McDonald led us through the process of transcribing and abstracting the documents, as well as discussing ways to identify when a document was written, such as the paper, ink, and script that was used. Most of what he discussed here was beyond my skill level, but I know if I had to read enough documents written in the 18th and early 19th centuries, I'd learn the difference.

At 9:30, all the seats in the room were filled as D. Joshua Taylor, from Genealogy Roadshow, discussed The World's Periodicals in Your Hand: PERSI and Beyond. He indicated that while HeritageQuest has an archival version of PERSI (Periodical Search Index), FindMyPast has an up-to-date version to which they are slowly attaching digitized versions of the periodicals. He discussed how to best search the index, and how to access copies of the periodicals that aren't digitized.

At 11am, Daniel Horowitz, Chief Genealogist for MyHeritage, explained how to Research Jewish Genealogical Records from your Couch. While the focus of his presentation, as indicated by the title, was on a multitude of online databases, he also included a few resources that would require getting dressed and doing a bit of traveling. There were several resources of which I was unaware and I am looking forward to exploring.

Between the first two sessions, I had run into a friend I knew from a local writer's group. We agreed to meet up for lunch at the Embassy Suites, adjoining the convention center, which was offering a buffet spread. While it cost a little more than I would have spent at one of the food trucks, since it was a buffet, I was able to eat more than I would have.

At 2:30 I attended Elizabeth Shown Mills' presentation Genealogy Research and Writing: Are You a Saint, Sinner, or Bumfuzzled Soul? I clearly hadn't had enough writing-related presentations yesterday. The focus of the discussion was on how to avoid charges of plagiarism with your wriitng, as well as the differences between copyright, plagiarism, ethics, and law. Most of this wasn't new to me, but it was a nice refresher.

At 4pm, I ended the day learning Guidelines to Finding Polish Records from Amy Wachs. While Daniel Horowitz had discussed several databases on which I might be able to find my Polish Jewish ancestors, the focus of this presentation was less on the actual databases, and more of a background on Polish history, and how that has influenced the structure of its archival system, and the records themselves. I was excited to learn that Poland was slowly getting interested in digitizing some of its records.

I am amazed at how much I have learned, and I am only halfway through the conference.

1 comment:

Dave McDonald said...

Like all fun things, transcriptions really are just a matter of practice, practice, practice!

Good luck and have fun!

David McDonald