Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - EXPERT TIPS -

“Of­ten the only way to break a brick wall is to look for records that are not found eas­ily on­line, but are in the care of ar­chives. To ef­fec­tively plun­der ar­chives, you must learn how to use their cat­a­logues, and to iden­tify their lim­its. Whilst some ar­chive cat­a­logues are avail­able on­line, such as The Na­tional Ar­chive’s Dis­cov­ery ( dis­cov­­tional ar­, not all may be nec­es­sar­ily com­plete or up to date, whilst oth­ers may only be avail­able in pa­per for­mat at an in­sti­tu­tion it­self. As well as lo­cat­ing rel­e­vant cat­a­logues, it also helps to learn how records are de­scribed within them, such as at ‘item’ level, as a ‘piece’, or in a ‘se­ries’, to un­der­stand the full ex­tent of the hold­ings be­fore or­der­ing them up.”

CHRIS PA­TON Holds a post­grad di­ploma in Ge­nealog­i­cal Stud­ies, and runs scot­lands­great­est

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