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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Spotlight on the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Sometimes we all need to be reminded that genealogy is really history. Although many try, genealogy cannot be pursued adequately without learning the history surrounding our ancestors. It is also the case that many of our ancestors played their individual parts in wars, revolutions, depressions, boom-times and other historical milestones. In a recent article in The Jewish Daily Forward, I read about the Gilder Lehman Institute of American History and that they have the largest private collection of original United States historical documents. Here is a description of the collection from their Featured Primary Sources:
The Gilder Lehrman Collection is a unique archive of primary sources in American history. Owned by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and located at the New-York Historical Society, the Collection includes more than 60,000 letters, diaries, maps, pamphlets, printed books, newspapers, photographs, and ephemera that document the political, social, and economic history of the United States. An extensive resource for educators, students, and scholars, the Collection ranges from 1493 through the twentieth century and is widely considered one of the nation’s great archives in the Revolutionary, early national, antebellum, and Civil War periods.
From my perspective, the amount of information available online and in libraries and other collections around the world is essentially limitless. I regularly discover vast new collections which were previously unknown to me. The trick is remembering that all these resources are actually there and making use of their contents.

You might wonder why I monitor a publication such as The Jewish Daily Forward. It is exactly for this reason. I see this publication and other similar ones, as windows into the rich resources just waiting for my exploration. Some people spend their time looking for gold, I find gold almost every day in the riches online.

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