I’m running a day behind. Here’s what should have posted yesterday… if I hadn’t chosen sleep over you all. Sorry!

Thursday was another day of volunteering and sessions. I started the day on the conference registration table. So, I missed the keynote. But I had a fun time with my booth mate and greeting people.

I then spent the afternoon really focused on methodology sessions.  I attended detailed presentations by Thomas W. Jones (T-202 Planning and Executing Efficient and Effective Research) and Elizabeth Shown Mills (T-213 Smiths and Joneses)—both of which really got to the heart of how to effectively and efficiently research. Really looking at records—what they say and what they don’t. Comparing records—for accuracy, reliability, and with an eye to who created the document and when. I followed those up with a session by Conference Chair Paula Stuart-Warren on creating research reports for yourself which really stressed getting down the details of what you searched, why you looked at the record, and what you found or didn’t find.

Tucked in the middle of those, I attended a fabulous presentation by Laura Prescott on finding materials at university libraries and archives (T-221 Treasures of the Ivory Tower). I’ve come across fabulous collections in the past more haphazardly—for example through footnotes (like Peter John Alison’s memoir). I went into the session looking for ways to more strategically locate materials. Prescott offered a lot of ideas and food for thought, plus she’s just a great and enthusiastic speaker. She also had my quote of the day in discussing FOBs or “Flashes of the Obvious.” It seemed to be the theme of the day… straightforward and common sense presentations that were inspiring and eye-opening.

I did take a turn through the Exhibit Hall during the Showcase. I’m pretty sure I didn’t win a door prize—you can’t always hear in the hall. Then I headed out to dinner with a large group of Michigan genealogists… who couldn’t get their headcount straight. We dined and hung out at O’Reilly’s on Jefferson until Karaoke began. That seemed to be a quick way to get everyone to head back to their hotels. Then again, Springsteen should not sound like that—not that I claim to be any more able to sing his work.

More conference highlights soon, until then…

Happy hunting,

Jess

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