Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NERGC: Strategies for Making Archival Records Accessible to Genealogists

On Thursday at NERGC I attended the Librarians' and Teachers' Day.  These types of events are always very useful to me both as a genealogist and as a librarian/archivist.  It also counted as 5 hours of continuing education credit.

The first session was Kathleen M. Reilly of the Berkshire Athenaeum's Local History Department, discussing Strategies for Making Archival Records Accessible to Genealogists.

Accessibility is one of my main issues as a librarian and archivist.  As a researcher in Western New York, I understand the problems faced by low to no accessibility of records.

The Berkshire Athenaeum's Local History Department was able to make their records easily accessible during a recent remodel.  One of my favorite changes they made were putting all vital records together, rather than by location.  Considering the constant change of towns and counties, this makes research much easier.  They also have movable stacks and put the vital records and cemetery records on the ends, so that they are always available.

The overall message was to find ways to preserve your collection while making it more available.  This includes microfilming many of their collections, in addition to some digitization.  They also photocopy items such as scrapbooks, to make them available for use.  There are also many indexing projects and finding aid creation in progress.


  1. It was nice to meet you at NERGC, and it's nice to read this post to see what was going on in the lectures for librarians and teachers. No one else was blogging about those workshops. Thanks!

  2. @Heathero,
    It was wonderful meeting you, as well. Hopefully we can hang out a bit more in 2013!


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