Titles and Silent Corrections

9 February 2014
A blogger's weekly list of recommended articles contained a real headscratcher. One of the recommended titles was (and I quote exactly): "Small Groups Of Friends Are The Key To Influence Not Swaying Influential People." Hmhh. Are we saying that influence doesn't sway influential people? Or . . .

Organization of Census Pages & Images:

8 February 2014
Do you study the organization of census pages—and their online images—or do you just accept what's there and look up a name? When the provider has imaged a county in “subdivisions” and arranged those in alpha order, rather than

Digital Library Directory

7 February 2014
Have you discovered the Digital Library Directory, which bills itself as “An Online Directory of the Best Digital Library Resources”? The offerings of this consortium of over 750 digital libraries are diverse, extensive, and astounding. . . .

What's the Citation for "High Cheek Bones"?

6 February 2014
Amid a discussion of a certain political brouhaha over alleged Native American identity and the "proof" offered by the claimant, a Facebook follower quipped, "What's the citation for 'high cheekbones'?" . . .

Feme covert, feme sole & femme de couleur libre

5 February 2014
Many legal puzzles created by women we track through the past can be resolved if we understand their status at law and the language that describes their status. In today's edition of "Wednesday's Words," we cover three of those:

Documenting the Essentials

4 February 2014
How many "facts" in the following sentence need supporting evidence? . . . .

Do You Trust Compiled Military Service Records?


3 February 2014

The Compiled Military Service Records for a dozen men in the Revolutionary War company of Col. Robert Rae credit them with “casualties” at Augusta (Georgia) or Silver Bluff (South Carolina). Yet none of the men actually were casualties.1

Negative Findings

2 February 2014
When you conduct a block of research—whether it’s for yourself, a client, or an academic paper—how do you handle negative findings? Do you simply state “A search of XYZ turned up nothing?” Or do you record, in detail, the parameters used for your search? . . .

Source List Arrangements

1 February 2014
Source lists—those things we called “bibliographies” in the old days when most of what we cited were actually biblios—can become a quagmire if we just collect citations without an overall scheme for organizing them. There are many approaches . . .

Free E-books of a Legal Nature

31 January 2014
No historical researcher can live without legal reference works. What were the laws that affected the creation of this document we just found? What were the laws that affect our interpretation of this document? Did the creation of this document trigger another legal action that will tell us more about our subject? &c &c &c. . . .