There's No Such Thing as "The Gospel According to Grandma"
Tradition is not Gospel. It is not religion. We can’t accept it on faith alone. Oral history goes astray for at least five reasons ...
EE Sun, 11/04/2018 - 18:21
Long Citations, Short Citations, or Does It Matter?
We’ve all heard the rule: The first time we cite a source, in a reference note, we cite all details about the source. After that, each time we cite the same source, we use a short form. That’s the rule. But every rule has exceptions. Sometimes, rules just don’t work.
EE Sun, 11/04/2018 - 18:01
When to Use Derivatives or Originals: Here's a Crib Sheet
Researchers are always cautioned to use the best sources possible. Ideally, we’re told, that means original records created by informants with primary (first-hand) information. That guidance is sound. But when a project involves hundreds or thousands of documents ...
EE Sun, 11/04/2018 - 17:46
Citing Locational Data
“I wonder,” our inquirer asked, “Why do citations to family artifacts not include our file numbers?” Great question! In fact, we could ask this about a lot of things. These days we all capture images of the documents we use. We have our filing system to maintain those images—sometimes physical but usually electronic. So why do our citations not include the image IDs, the e-folder name or notebook number, etc.?
EE Sat, 11/03/2018 - 16:11

Getting Real about Those Derivatives

Oh, how we love records that are neatly typed and nicely indexed. Sure, we've heard all those admonitions about consulting original records rather than derivatives. But let's get real. When somebody lived in thirteen different counties in 5 different states, that's a lot of records to plow through. When the records have been "processed" and published, we're going to use those published versions, right?

Sloppy Reporting? Or, How Not to Choke When Indulging in Free Online Content
Here's food for thought for all of us researchers who use online books, magazines, newspapers, or snippets thereof. Last week, a well-known news corp published an article about a false ...
EE Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:15
10 Words Every History Researcher Should Know
Those clever folks at Grammarly have published a wonderful list of “10 words every college student should know.” For certain, they’re 10 words every history researcher should know. Here’s our take on them …
EE Sat, 12/02/2017 - 16:09

Ready-made Citations?

Prefabrication is a wonderful concept. Like most concepts, it has its uses—as well as undesirable consequences. In a recent thread on EE's Facebook page, a commenter writes: “It’s best to go with the citation any site recommends at [as] it will most likely lead to continuous access no matter how the site changes over time.” For the record ...