Monday, August 8, 2011

File Search Trick, and Prepping for an Archive Visit

Podcast Listener Joan wrote me recently:  "I get to spend a day at the National Archives. What should I do to prepare to take full advantage of the visit? I checked their website, but it was not as helpful as I hoped. Any suggestions?"

While this first resource is from the National Archives in the UK, it's applicable to archives in other countries as well.  Check out their video series called Quick Animated Guide.

Another good approach is to search for presentations on archive visits using Google.  By conducting a 'file type search' in Google you can uncover presentations posted on the Web that are geared to doing research at the National Archives.

I conducted the following search in Google: .ppt national archives research and came up with a Powerpoint presentation called Beginning Your Genealogical Research at the National Archives which comes from the US National Archives website. When you click the link above you’ll be prompted to RUN the presentation, and I found that it detected Powerpoint on my computer and opened the presentation in my Powerpoint program.

This little genealogy search gem can come in quite handy. Sometimes you know exactly what kind of file or document you are looking for online. By searching for the keywords of the subject and then adding .ppt (the file extension for Powerpoint presentations) Google will pull up only Powerpoint presentations that include those keywords.

You may not be able to get out to genealogy conferences very often, but some creative searching may bring up presentations that cover topics that interest you right from your home computer. That’s a little gem you need to add to your search toolbox for sure!  For more search gems check out my book The Genealogist's Google Toolbox.  Now through August 12, 2011 you can get 20% off* the book as well as anything at my Genealogy Gems store at with the coupon code:  SINK305

And finally, when it comes to preparing for and making a trip to an archive or library Margery Bell of the Family History Centers offered some great ideas for preparing for a research trip, regardless of whether it is to the National Archives or the Family History Library. The interviews are episode 17, 18 & 19 in the Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast.

Great question Joan and have a wonderful time! Happy hunting everyone!

* Enter coupon code SINK305 at checkout and receive 20% off your order. The maximum savings for this offer is $100. Sorry, but this offer is only valid in US Dollars and cannot be applied to previous orders. You can only use these codes once per account, and unfortunately you can't use these coupons in combination with other coupon codes. These great offers expire on Friday August 12, 2011 at 11:59 PM, so don't miss out! While very unlikely, Lulu does reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so.

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