It is great that images of records are easier than ever to find online with significantly less manual searching than before.

But there is a potential drawback.

When searching through records manually, one usually obtained books and had an idea of what was in the book before searching began. Some online indexes relieve the researcher of the obligation to decide what book (or roll of microfilm) to look at and just serve up images.

Make certain you know what you are looking at. If you don’t, you cannot cite it properly, you can’t analyze it property, and you might not even realize that you are not looking at the entire record.

When in doubt, find out.

That’s the first thing you should do with any image that crosses your desk…ask yourself “Just what is this?”



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get the Genealogy Tip of the Day Book