Research in Original Source Repositories

The Family History Library is spectacular! We all know that. It’s the largest genealogical library in the world and still growing every day. It is hard to imagine doing any family history research without using the Family History Library. HOWEVER, there is a wider world of historical resources not available from the Family History Library, not available anywhere in published form—in print, microfilm, or online. This course explores repositories of original historical sources: archives, courthouses and manuscript collections.
 
What are these repositories? How do they differ from one another? How do you find the ones you need for your research? How to you access the treasures they contain that pertain to your ancestors? How do you use those materials to reconstruct your ancestors’ lives? These are the issues we will address throughout this week.
 
The purpose of this course is to take the mystery and trepidation out of using original source repositories. By the end of this week, you will not only know a great deal about original source repositories, you will also feel confident and comfortable using them
 
Coordinator:  John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA
Instructors:
  • John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.
  • Patricia Smith-Mansfield, State Archivist of Utah
  • Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL
  • Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL
  • Paula Stuart-Warren, CG
 
The materials in the Family History Library are so colossal and far-ranging that genealogists sometimes neglect to venture into the wider world of resources not available on microfilm or in digitized format. This course takes the mystery and trepidation out of using repositories of original historical sources: archives, courthouses and manuscript collections. What these repositories are and how they differ from one another; how to access the treasures that pertain to your ancestors; how to use those materials to reconstruct your ancestors’ lives—these issues and more are addressed. Instructors of honed expertise and substantial experience demonstrate their lessons using numerous examples and case studies. They share practical hints and helps, conveying the thrill and satisfaction of handling and deciphering antique documents. Course participants will attend an orientation session at the Utah State Archives Research Center, followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of the state-of-the-art records repository adjacent to the Center.