APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2009-02 > 1235276110
From: "Valerie A. Metzler" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Working in Archives - Blog series
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 23:15:10 -0500
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Very well said.
Valerie A. Metzler, M. A., C. A.
Valerie Metzler Archivist/Historian
114 Ruskin Drive
Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602
814 932 1740
fax 940 0493
On 21.02.2009, at 23:03, Carolyn Earle Billlingsley wrote:
> One is not better or less valuable than the other--both history and
> genealogy have merit and both have rigorous tenets for those who
> to doing their job well. But they have differing goals for the most
> and both sides need to recognize that gulf so that we can meet in the
> middle and understand and support our sister discipline.
> If you want to be in sync with an archivist or a historian, ask
> questions such as, where can I find information about migration into
> Illinois, or what differentiated yeoman farmers from planters, or what
> kinds of laws affected a man who was part black in Arkansas in the
> 1920s, or what newspapers cover coastal Texas in the antebellum
> In listening to academics gripe, the complaint I hear most often is
> the genealogists they meet starts talking about Grandpa and the
> specifics of Grandpa's life. In general, this is _not _of interest
> to a
> historian, unless it's tied to some bigger thesis from the
> discipline of
> "History." Whether it SHOULD matter or not is a moot point!
> Now it's a whole 'nother story if you start a conversation with a
> historian by saying something like: In my years of research into
> farmers in the South, I have found they often owned a few slaves. How
> does that compare with your research into the Southern yeomandry?
> And, as others have pointed out, if you go into the archives or
> looking like a professional and acting like a professional, you
> will be
> treated as such. Leave the kids at home; lose the sloppy t-shirt that
> says "I <heart> cemeteries" and don't tell the archivist your
> life history or ask if they have anything in their stacks on John
> Longfellow of Tennessee. As professionals in the field of
> genealogy, WE
> should know what materials we want and need, as well as what
> materials a
> particular archive might be expected to contain.