Sometimes it’s the simple things we forget in our genealogy research. I was researching a nineteenth century British Navy man born in Ireland, who had risen to prominence. There are many excellent compilations on Navy men, especially those in command. Works such as these are often indexed in one main volume which covers a wide variety of published books. These indexes were the books I was interested in for my preliminary research. I needed to know what other sources my research subject could be found in.
Where I found myself in trouble was in my excitement, I almost forgot to photocopy the codes used in the index to reference the wide variety of works cited. This all-important bibliography of sources cited was the very key which would allow my research to continue.
If you are making a special trip to a library away from your home, then it’s important you remember to photocopy the bibliography and the codes. Also, go the extra step and photocopy the introduction to the index which should explain the scope of the study.
If you are researching through correspondence or sending your favorite nephew to research on your behalf; don’t always assume they know to photocopy the bibliography, codes and the introduction. Always provide precise instructions as to what you need.
Again, it’s the simple things we forget. This is especially true if you are on a research trip and you have limited time. Remember, many of these types of reference works are specialized and will only be found in select libraries. It is not as though you can drive to any library and get these types of books, nor will you find them online. Just don’t forget to photocopy what you need while you have access to that particular reference book!