Monday, 8 December 2014

Books! Books! Books!

I am up to my eyeballs in books at the moment! Well, not literally of course - they're mostly on my iPad so they don't take up much space at all. And not even figuratively to be honest - just a small handful of books that I am studying.

First there's Genealogy Standards: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition from the Board for Certification of Genealogists - That's a bit bland and light on content. But it does provide a good (if brief) overview of the genealogical standards - I just wish there was more to it, but thankfully there are other books that expand on these standards.

The next book in my (virtual) reading pile is Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W Jones. I haven't got far into this one yet, but it appear to provide a sound introduction to using and applying the Genealogical Proof Standard (as described in the book Genealogy Standards) complete with worked examples and exercises to attempt. I'm going to be in and out of this book quite a bit I expect...

Next up is a book I borrowed from the library - Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian by Elizabeth Shown Mills. While this is a bit old now and has been superseded by the next book in my list, I still think it is an excellent primer to proper source analysis and citation. It is a short book, split in two parts. The first part is a good explanation of the fundamentals of source analysis and citation, while the second part consists of a series of tables with clear examples of different source citations. I cannot find an electronic copy of this so I may have to purchase a hardcopy at some stage.

Evidence Explained:Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition by Elizabeth Shown Mills is on my wishlist. Written after Evidence! a delving much deeper into the topic, this book is the standard for source analysis and citation. It is also quite a hefty book coming in at 885 pages! An electronic version is available via the author's website Evidence Explained.

The next book doesn't really appear to fit with the theme of the previous four, but Genealogy - Family Tree Research Made Easy by Poppy Sure is a worthwhile guide to the beginner genealogist. Not just a "how to genealogy" book, Poppy covers important areas such as maintaining research logs, sources vs evidence, standards, citation and more. I was quite surprised at how much Poppy covers in what is ostensibly a beginner's book.

Finally, because it's where my family is from, Tracing Your Lancashire Ancestors by Sue Wilks is on the list. This book covers a brief history of Lancashire and also has a good list of research materials and locations for researchers tracing their Lancashire roots. Sadly this one is way down on my reading list, but hopefully when I get back to the task of tracing my family I will be able to turn to this book for some inspiration and direction.

Does anyone have any suggestions for good genealogical books that I should add to my library?

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