Hey, you’ve made it! We’ve arrived at
the fourth and final module, which brings us to a question: what else is out there?
In the short time I’ve spent as a professional librarian, there has been an explosion of
activity in the world of digital archives. It’s been incredibly encouraging to watch
recent digital archives projects open up some amazing collections on the web. But how can
digital collections like these help us tell our family’s stories? We’ll answer this
question as we get lost in the digital archives in Module 4. I’m Kyle Denlinger. Welcome
back to RootsMOOC. Before we get going on Module 4, let’s recap
what we learned in the last module: We learned that not everything is online.
Some of the most important documents to your genealogy research are held by libraries,
archives, and historical societies, and they’re frequently only available in print or on microfilm.
However, We learned to tap into this system by exploring the resources and services that
libraries provide for their users. If you haven’t planned a visit or contacted a librarian
yet, we hope you will soon. If you were able to pay a visit to your local
genealogy research library, we’d love to hear about it! I’ll be sharing my own experiences
in the discussion board–I hope to see you there. If you leave module four feeling like you’ve
tried drinking from a firehose, there’s a good reason for that. There is just so much
information coming available through a number of digitization initiatives, that it might
be difficult to even know where to get started. In this module, we’ll explore how to get
started with some of the big ones, such as the Digital Public Library of America, as
well as those you might find from your state library, state archives, or state historical
society. The things we’ll find range from marriage announcements to naturalization records
to digitized high school yearbooks and beyond. These sources will surely help us all fill
in gaps in our research and provide rich detail for our families’ stories. I hope you enjoy