Friday, April 29, 2016

Research Logs

What are research logs and why would I want to use one?  Research logs are simply a way to know what you looked at, where to find it again, what was found and sometimes more importantly what you did not find in that source.  How many times have you looked at a book or film, only to re-order it or go back to it to look for the same information?  If we are honest, most of us have done exactly that sometime in our research career.  This is where a log comes in handy.

Let me demonstrate what a simple log from looks like. The first piece of information is the repository, the location of where you got the source (a library, the Family History Library, or The second piece of information is the date you found this information. A chart follows which asks for simple information – Source Information (title, author, publisher, published date, etc.), Call Number (file #, URL, etc.), Objective (what were you looking for), and Results (what you did and/or did NOT find). Many times, we forget to write down or note somewhere what we did NOT find, and this can be very helpful in solving brick walls. If information cannot be located in sources where we expected to find it, this can tell us that our ancestor may have been located elsewhere, used a very different name, or that we are asking the wrong question, etc. Here is a link to the version - American Ancestor's Research Log

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Copyright © 2015 Ann Royal