23 May 2009

Confession + Penance = Some Great Websites For Your Research

There must be some kind of medication out there that eases the painfully embarrassing symptoms of internet withdrawl.

Until this morning, I had been away from my computer for 10 days. I can't believe that I am still here to tell the tale. The first couple of days weren't so bad. A little anxiety, mild sweating and a tad bit of finger twitching. It was the third day that began my descent into Hell.

I will spare you the gory details of those days but feel I must confess about yesterday.

Yesterday, OMG Yesterday I actually WALKED ten blocks to Kinko's to try and get a fix. For an obscene amount of money (they charge you by the minute), Kinko's will allow you to use their computers which have internet access. This is a first come, first serve deal with no time limit. My neighborhood Kinko's only has 2 computers for this use. When I walked in and found that I would be next in line after the 10 people ahead of me, I nearly passed out. I was able to bribe my way up the line to hold position number 4. After about an hour, I caught myself growling and thinking to myself that I could take down the big guy who was first in line. I scared myself so badly, I turned and ran ( ok, ok - I walked very fast) out of the store.

So part of the 77 step program my husband is forcing me to participate in, requires that I share something useful I learned from the Internet.

Which brings me to the real intent of this post - I have come across some of the greatest sites that might be of interest to you and your research.

"Daily Life and Work" is only one section of a digital textbook called "Colonial Life in North Carolina." This brilliant program is brought to you by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of the Learn NC program. But wait, there's more! This particular digital textbook includes sections like "Mapping the Great Wagon Road" - This article describes the route and its history and offers two detailed maps, one from 1751 and one from the present, for comparison. "Material Culture: Exploring Wills and Inventories" - This part explores legal documents surrounding a person's death and how historians use them to understand daily life, family structure, and other aspects of the past. Oodles of images of actual wills, inventories and the items listed in the inventories along with explanations of their use.

The Nevada Observer, an online State News Journal, offers an electronic reading room free of charge. There is a wide array of literature to choose from, but I found the nineteen century Travel Journals really interesting. Other selections include a shelf or two on the history of organized crime and the families involved, Hispanic heritage, selections from Mark Twain and just about everything you would want to know about mining.

The Society for Historical Archaeology has a website full of great resources for the family historian. A couple that caught my eye were Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information and a section called "Unlocking The Past"

The ability to locate records for your ancestors lies in the knowledge of why they were created in the first place. Every bit of information you can learn about what was going on at the time these records were created is definitely to an educated researcher's advantage!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, goodness, it sounds like somebody needs an intervention! :)
    (That's my sista crankypants - contemplating taking down some big fella who has gotten in her way.)