by Juliana Smith
My mother started work on our family history back in the 70s, when I was growing up. While we were in school, she would visit libraries, Family History Centers, and the National Archives-Great Lakes. More research was done through correspondence via what we now consider "snail-mail."
Now we can sit at home in our jammies and fuzzy slippers in front of our computers and with the click of a mouse, locate and view images of census records, military records, passenger arrival records, and so much more. With this convenience though, there is sometimes a cost. We may be so focused on what's available online, that we may be overlooking a treasure-trove of resources that reside in the physical world--in libraries, archives, courthouses, and with historical and genealogical organizations.
It can be intimidating to venture out beyond the relative comfort of our computer chairs (and we may want to shed the jammies and fuzzy slippers in favor of more conventional clothing if we're planning on visiting a repository in person), but through correspondence, interlibrary loan, and library visits, we may find that the tools we need, aren't as far away as we thought.
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