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22 February 2017

Our Manuscript Collection: Here’s How It Can Help Preserve Your Family Story

by Virginia Turner

Did you know that you can have your family papers or book preserved using archival standards so that they are available for generations to come? That is a key function of our manuscript collection and the volunteers who maintain it. Keep in mind that a manuscript contained in the California Genealogical Society library can range from just the beginnings of research, such as papers and letters about your family story, to a fully published book.

This month we highlight what makes up our manuscript collection, along with some helpful tips on how you can create and protect a manuscript for your family’s story.

Things to keep in mind
When a person begins the process of recording notations leading to a finished manuscript or book, the researcher does not have to wait until a finished product is ready for the library shelf.

If a published book is the ultimate goal, it is wise to donate a copy of the beginning manuscript to a library location for safekeeping, as well as for use by others who may be helpful in rounding out the final product through exchange of information between two or more searchers. At our library, we index the items collected by surname.  Next, the indexes are placed online and are made available to the public on request.

Safe storage is key
Acid free boxes and paper supplies will keep research materials safe from deterioration from the environment. A safe location of the copy in the library manuscript collection will keep it free from destructive processes of theft, plagiarism, insects, and moisture.

Manuscripts come in many shapes and sizes
Research as small as a family group sheet with factual references can find a place in the miscellaneous collection boxes.  The first letter of the family surname alphabetizes these group sheets.

It can grow to include additions of pedigree charts for related families. Copies of references from letters, books, and published genealogies of related people will eventually lead to the author’s final product.

If you want the eventual book or article to be more interesting for the reader, then add copies of family photographs, maps, photocopies of letters, family bible inscriptions, newspaper accounts, tombstone inscriptions and other historical material.

Another way to approach it is to make several separate small manuscripts, which will eventually be combined into a published family genealogy, or a collective genealogy that includes many family writings, which are related to a particular locality or subject.

Ready to publish?
Small manuscripts may find a place in various genealogical magazines. These days, publishing companies can assist you in editing and publishing your articles of genealogy.

Did you know that certain members of the California Genealogical Society could assist in readying your manuscript for submission to specialized genealogical magazines interested in your stories?

When your manuscript is ready for saving in the California Genealogical Society Collection, please contact Georgia Lupinsky or myself for advice on editing and preparing your work for publication. Our goal is to give you the courage to meet your goal.

I hope that makes clear what our manuscript collection is, how your research can become a part of it and how, ultimately, we can help you get your manuscript published.

Contact us today with your manuscript questions.  We’d love to hear from you!


Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

21 February 2017

On Our Shelves: The American Genealogist

by Nancy Cork
I love periodicals: the thrill of opening a new publication not knowing what delights it may contain never gets old!  
Each week at the library, as I check in the new magazines, journals and newsletters, I sneak a few moments to leaf through some of the periodicals, noting articles that relate to my area of family research, and relishing the curious titles that pique my interest.  
This week, I want to share with our California Genealogical Society (CGS) community an article I found that is special for another reason: it was written by one of our own members.
Darcie Hind Posz
In the journal The American Genealogist, CGS member and certified genealogist Darcie Hind Posz writes of a family’s path from Japan to Hawaii, which movingly includes the bombing of Hiroshima and the internment camps of World War II. Darcie’s two-part article is a compelling, beautifully written and documented read. She won the American Society of Genealogists Scholar Award in October 2015 with this article. 
Want to read it? Here’s what you need to know.
“Tanaka and Ishihara Families of Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, and Papaaloa, Hilo, Hawaii” by Darcie Hind Posz, CG
The American Genealogist, April 2016 Vol. 88, No. 2, and continued in July 2016 Vol. 88, No. 3     Library call number: CS42 .A44
This is just one of the many treasures waiting for you to discover in our genealogy library.  So, the next time you are visiting our library, take a moment and treat yourself to a scholarly delight…because it’s on our shelves!

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

30 January 2017

Why Go on a Research Trip to the Family History Library?

by Lisa Gorrell

Are you on the fence about whether a group research trip should be in your plans this year? Need some good reasons to encourage you to make the trip?

Here are my top reasons to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:

Research in the best library on the West Coast with microfilmed original records from around the country and the world.

Enjoy the successful finds with companions who get your excitement of breaking through a brick wall. You'll have access to consultations before and during the trip to help you over any researching hurdles. Your leader, Lisa Gorrell, and others in the group can be great sounding boards when you’re unable to make progress.

Family History Library consultants can help you, too. There are experts on every geographic area around the globe, especially the British Isles, Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia.

Make new friends and cultivate old friendships during lunch and dinner breaks.

And the best: Spend a week away from your home chores and focus on your research without distractions.  My personal favorite!

The deadline for the early bird pricing is February10th. The final deadline is March 10th.  Right now, we've only had two people register for the trip and we need seven more attendees to make it a go.

So what are you waiting for? Help us continue the annual tradition of our Salt Lake City Genealogy Research trip by registering today---you'll be glad you came!

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

27 January 2017

Why I Contributed to the Capital Campaign: Jim Sorenson

Jim at the Annual Membership Meeting, January 2017
For those not familiar, The California Genealogical Society's Capital Campaign kicks into high gear this February with a goal of raising $1.2 million dollars.  The goal was created to coincide with the beginning of our 120th Anniversary in 2018. 

A committee chaired by Chris Pattillo was created to lead this effort. Chris also has the considerable help and talent of both Jane Lindsey and Sandy Fryer to ensure that the campaign will be a huge success.  

Why is a Capital Campaign needed?  The money raised will help ensure that our society will remain a leader in genealogy and give us the necessary financial cushion to weather various storms in the future. 

Now that you know about the Capital Campaign, I hope you enjoy the beginning of a new monthly series of blog posts entitled Why I Contributed to the Capital Campaign.  The first will focus on life member, long-time volunteer, donor and previous board member Jim Sorenson.  

Jim has given generously of his time and money for over nine years to The California Genealogical Society (CGS).  He has been involved in key strategic roles in the organization that have allowed us to thrive and succeed where many genealogy societies have either failed or begun to lose membership. Jim is a strong believer that the California Genealogical Society is an institution that contributes to our local community and collective history.  His latest genealogical project is pursuing information pertaining to his biological paternal grandfather, who was recently identified using analysis of autosomal DNA test results.

With that being said, here are a few questions I asked him on why he chose to financially support our society:
  • By contributing to the Capital Campaign, what do you hope to accomplish? I’m strongly interested in keeping CGS going as a vital resource for doing genealogical research and to support the many educational activities that they present.
  • You have many organizations to choose from when considering a donation, what made you choose us? My wife and I support many local and national charities. However, I know that my donation to CGS will be used wisely and every dollar goes to support CGS without being diverted to pay for expensive fundraising.    
  • How does donating to CGS extend your personal legacy or the legacy of California genealogical research? By keeping CGS fiscally healthy, I know that their great resources will be available to my descendants and me for years to come.
  • How did CGS' genealogical resources help your research efforts? In addition to the subscriptions to online databases, the CGS library has many books which can’t be found online or at general-purpose libraries. Although I’ve been doing genealogy for several years and have built up considerable experience, the collective expertise of the CGS members and their programs offers help that is not available if you just do it on your own.
  • What would you say to those contemplating a donation to the Capital Campaign? Donation decisions are personal and there are many deserving organizations asking for support. However, being an all-volunteer organization means that your support of CGS goes further to support its goals and purposes in providing an understanding of your ancestors and the world in which they lived, the challenges they faced, and the successes or failures that made them what they were.
If a donation to the Capital Campaign sounds daunting, then consider becoming a Life Member of the society.  Did you know that 100% of the Life Membership fee ($1200 that can either be paid at once or over a 5-year installment plan) is invested in mutual funds and provides long-term support for CGS? 

The revenue from these funds is used to cover unanticipated expenses and helps secure that the Society will remain viable in the years to come.  Rather than calculating a return on a Life Membership, we encourage you to think of this as donation with benefits.

Have questions? Please send either Chris or Jane an email to discuss what's best for you.

We need our dedicated and visionary members like Jim to step forward and make the pledge towards creating a more sustainable and prosperous future for CGS.  Please act now to preserve the heritage that you've worked so hard to discover.  We're counting on you.

Thank you for considering how you can help ensure that The California Genealogical Society will remain a financially strong leader in the field of genealogy.

Photo by Ron Madson

Logo designed by Lois Elling

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

25 January 2017

Annual Appeal: We're Almost There...

Ready to put us over the top? 
The Annual Appeal for the California Genealogical Society so far has raised 88% percent — $13,170 — of its $15,000 goal. We only need $1,830 to meet our goal for this year.  Can we all come together and make it happen by Feb 1st?  We’re very close to meeting our numbers for 2016 (thank you all). However, we still need your help to reach 100%.

Treasurer Kathie Jones said, "So far, 133 members have given a little over $13,000.  I'm so happy to see that each year we're able to exceed our previous year's goal.  In 2015 our goal was $12,500, which we accomplished, and I'm hopeful that we'll do the same for 2016's Annual Appeal. Our average donation this year is now $99 per person, a definite increase from the previous year.  Thank you CGS members!” 

Where does the money go?
Membership fees only cover 40% of our operating expenses; most of the rest comes from special events and tax-deductible donations from members like you.  Kathie says, "The cost of real estate in the San Francisco Bay area continues to be our number one expense for the society---meaning our rent consumes about 70% of our budget."

Our library, with thousands of volumes, is one of the premiere genealogy libraries on the West Coast, and is one of the main reasons that many of you joined the society.  Our member survey results showed that The California Nugget, our biannual genealogical magazine, is another huge draw for our members.

What’s on tap for this year?
Member Lisa Gorrell will lead our 17th annual genealogy research trip to Salt Lake City in April and on September 23rd we will play host to the incredible Judy G. Russell, also known as The Legal Genealogist.  

We hope you’ll consider one or both of these enjoyable genealogical experiences. Both will help us raise needed funds for the society and library. We also have an interesting and constantly evolving slate of classes for you to choose from in 2017.

Genealogy community
In addition to the library, resources, trips, events and classes---it's the people that make The California Genealogical Society the valuable resource that it has become.  Without your devotion of time and resources, we wouldn't be a leader in genealogy.

Thank you for all that you have done and will do for us in the future.  Our future looks bright because of members and donors like you.  

Please donate today.

You make our success possible.

Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society