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DR CHAPTER 01 31/8/06 16:43 Page 1
Chapter 1
Archives, Libraries
& Computers
Other than finding somewhere to put the wallets such
Getting Organised
as a drawer or box that’s all there is to it.
One thing you will soon discover once you start
your research is that you very quickly become inun-
dated with pieces of paper as you collect notes, Research Facilities
photocopies and other ephemera. If you get yourself
organised from the start you’ll be able to keep every-
thing in control and save time and effort by not
Libraries, Archives, Local Studies, & County
unnecessarily duplicating work you’ve already done.
Record Offices
I’m a great believer in using other peoples’
The essential items are:- research whenever possible so the starting place to
find your material is your local library.You will proba-
* A notebook and pencil (many archives forbid the bly be surprised how much local history material your
use of pens) for jotting down information as you find it. nearest library holds.The smallest will have a range of
loan or reference books on local history as well as
* A diary, preferably portable, for logging appoint- maps and directories. They will also be able to tell you
ments, as you will need to book a place and/or what other record repositories exist nearby. There will
equipment at most research establishments. usually be photocopying facilities for a small fee, and
you should be able to order books they do not have
* A paper filing system. The filing system is largely (at least from within the county).
a matter of choice and to some extent depends on
how much storage room you can allocate and whether The bigger libraries and archives will have large
you want to spend money on fancy binders. I use the collections of local material probably covering as wide
simple cheap coloured card document wallets. I have an area as the entire county, and collections of more
one wallet for current research, which includes any specialist material such as private documents and
notes or documents I may need to use while working tithe maps.
on the project. Every project then has its own wallet or
series of numbered wallets as the amount of material The great advantages of County Record Offices
expands. (Eg SITE A - 1, SITE A - 2, SITE A - 3, etc). are that they hold vast amounts of material relevant
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