Looking into the history of an historic piece of property can be incredibly entertaining. But that joy can without doubt revolve to frustration if you lose trail of your research materials. Before you get too far into the study of your house, decide how you will arrange the facts you obtain. There is nothing more frustrating than struggling to find an old scrap piece of paper that you recognize you took notes on – unless it is going over ground that you have previously enclosed because you can’t dredge up which sources you have looked at in the past. Because most of us will do our research over a period of months, or even years, it is not possible to dredge up what has been completed without an organized file.
In a research, it is most advantageous to utilize a three ring binder, with dividers segregating the various sources of research i.e., directories, title searches, correspondence, etc. I completed all of my observations on 8 1/2 ” x 11″ sheets of paper, which might then be easily inserted into the appropriate portion of the binder. Writings on small scraps of paper likely to get missing. Photocopies made for the duration of the search procedure will also be this size, making everything unfailing and trouble-free to file.
Take notes information in a log the moment you get it and write down, thoroughly, where and when a quest was completed. Keep track of all you evaluate, even those objects that contain no helpful information. Record the foundation by author and title, or the file number if that is how the institution listed it. Also keep a record any contacts you make, whether by letter, phone or in person. Keeping a record can also facilitate you prepare future trips as well. You can list the options you wish to examine when you go to the library, courthouse, etc. and jot down the call or microfilm numbers so you save time once you are at the repository.
Keep a study record for all of your on-line research as well. Again, you don’t want to persevere with revisiting web sites you have previously checked in the past.
Categorize your research tasks in an effective and logical way. Settle what you need to know and where you can locate it. Put up a list of specific tasks, noting where you need to go, to whom you need to talk, and what you expect to get, and the order in which you anticipate to push on. You can change this list as you progress with your study.
As you launch to gather photographs, documents and newspaper trimmings, ensure that all of your copies are created on archival-quality paper. All storage boxes and binder sleeves is required to be archival safe as well. Before keeping photos, make certain you label each one with a photo-safe marking pencil, noting the date, location and any subjects in the photo.
By using this folder approach to organization, you will have all of your research in one manageable location. The consequence is that you can come back to your research days or even years afterward and give you the chance to pick up where you concluded.
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