RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Of Lists and Links

When genealogical resources first began to appear on the Internet, I felt an urge to collect a list of all the websites. My list of bookmarks soon grew longer than the number visible on any screen. I began to categorize the resources into folders and subfolders. At the time, of course, I was well aware of that grandmother of all genealogy lists, Cyndi's List. As an aside, a quick check shows that Cyndi's List presently has 325,819 links and is still growing. As time passed, my interest in making my own lists of links to websites diminished. I realized that if someone, such as Cyndi Howells, was willing to spend a huge amount of time gathering lists of website links, I probably didn't need to keep my own lists.

What I've come to realize is that I seldom go back and use any of the lists of websites that I've created. I find it much easier to simply do another search online for website rather than comb through my extensive lists of bookmarks. The same thing goes for saved webpages such as in Evernote or Pinterest.com. When I clip something that catches my interest, sometimes it takes me a considerable time to get back to looking at the clipped items and because of the time that has passed, I may have lost interest or the news in the website may have become outdated.

But lists, especially those such as Cyndi's List, serve a valuable purpose. They make us aware of websites and resources we will never find by doing a search because we don't even know what questions to ask or what to search for. For that reason, I still like to go through various websites' lists of links or suggestions. I do find that lists without any organization are a mixed grabbag. I also find a lot of list sites where the list was apparently compiled back in the dark ages of the Internet, because few of the links are still valid and operating.

What I have found more useful than general eclectic lists, are those that focus on a specific topic. For example, I ran across this list of Digital Libraries from Princeton University for Genealogy. This list had several items from Arizona that I did not know existed. In fact, by using that list, I found a book about my Great-grandfather that I did not know had been digitized. So looking at lists of websites can be very productive, on occasion.

I found another interesting list of websites on the BYU Family History Library, Family History & Genealogy Resources. Here is a real eclectic list but has some really interesting things that I hadn't been aware of lately. So now, I am not particularly making lists of websites, but in some cases I am glad that someone else feels compelled to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Just like you I have saved many link, actually in the hundreds. I should go back and edit my list. I also found when I am looking for something I just enter in the Google search bar and it is there.

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