Thursday, July 19, 2012

NIGR 2012-Day 4

This morning I got to ride a nice air conditioned bus to Archives II in College Park, Maryland. This facility is very different than the Archives I in D.C. First of all it is a much newer building in a beautiful tree surrounded location. The records there are also not as genealogically focused, but just as genealogically useful. You just have to figure out how to use them.

Our first presentation was American Indian Research: An Introduction by Kenneth W. Heger. This was a very good but very brief overview on this topic. If you are going to FGS Kenneth is presenting there and he is a very good speaker. The next topic was Genealogical Records in the Records of the Department of State presented by two of the staff. This was an extremely packed session of information being fired at us left and right. Some of the items discussed were passport applications, visa applications, and consular records. Following the presentations was a tour of the archives.

Once the tour was completed we had the option of taking a 2:00 bus back to the archives or a 4:00 bus. I decided to snoop around a bit and take the 4:00 bus. The department I was really interested in was the 5th floor, which is photography. They have a really neat collection of WWII posters in slide format. I checked to see if I could find any photos of my Civil War soldier's regiments or officer photos, but didn't have any luck. However, I did find one photo of a soldier that looked like quite a character. I sense there is a story behind him and took down the information to research him a bit.

After another air conditioned bus ride back into the city I got right to work at Archives I. I had pulls waiting for me that needed my attention. There were more land records, a Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR), and another thick pension file with lots of letters written by the widow. I haven't counted but this is another file that is around 200 pages. Oh! I also looked at a bookmark. What is a bookmark? If you look at the bottom of a CMSR you will see a space that says "Bookmark." If it is blank throughout the whole record than there is nothing to look at in the bookmark file. However, if there is a number than you could have a juicy piece of information waiting for you. This is the second one I've looked at this week. The first didn't really tell me anything that I didn't already have information on. On the flip side, the bookmark I looked at tonight was awesome! This Civil War soldier was trying to get the "Desertion" label lifted from his file. It's great stuff that created so much paper work, that the tri-fold file was held together with a red ribbon. And that, my dear, readers was the first "red tape!"

Tomorrow promises to be another full day. I have more pulls to submit and I need to speak with an archivist who specializes in Confederate records, for a man whose card says "Killed in prison." I'm hoping I have some very good options.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Cinamon, and thanks for the "bookmark" reminder. I took NIGR in 2009 and honestly had forgotten about that "clue" to more records. I remember going to Archives II and feeling like I needed more time! Enjoy your last day.