APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2007-10 > 1191903066
From: Kathy Rippel <>
Subject: Re: [APG] UNT Libraries receive grant from IMLS to study digitallibrary use by genealogists
Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2007 23:11:06 -0500
This message concerning Texas resources prompted me to write and tap
the expertise from the Texas contigent on this list.
I have a patron looking for an 1895 Texas census (well, specifically,
she wants an index...) So far I have not been able to find any such
animal. The closest I've found were some isolated school censuses for
I will check some more resources at work tomorrow, but has anyone any
knowledge about this? She is specifically looking for Dallas County.
Either print or online ideas are welcome!
Thanks in advance!
At 07:03 AM 10/8/2007, Debbie Parker Wayne wrote:
>This is forwarded with permission from a posting on the tex-dig mail list -
>a forum for discussion and sharing of ideas relating to the Texas Heritage
>Several of our Texas universities have librarians who are working to get
>useful original documents digitized and online. The importance of some of
>the manuscript collections archived at universities cannot be overstated.
>One of those universities cares enough to study how genealogists use the
>internet for research! The University of North Texas study will involve
>focus groups as well as an online survey. UNT wants to spread the news so
>they can gather more input once they start the study. Keep an eye out for
>future announcements so you can shape the future of digitization projects
>useful to genealogists.
>The UNT Portal to Texas History project is at
>The East Texas Research Center (ETRC) at Stephen F. Austin State University
>in Nacogdoches, Texas has also solicited genealogist's input for their
>Texas Tides Project located at
>The ETRC home page is at
>There are other university projects in Texas but the two named above are
>very useful and their librarians are very friendly to genealogists. Please
>give them your support.
>Debbie Parker Wayne
>Wayne Research http://etxquest.com/
>Webmaster, Lone Star Chapter APG http://lonestarapg.com/
>-------- Original Message --------
>Oct. 5, 2007
>Contact: Nancy Kolsti
>University of North Texas News Service
>or metro (817) 267-0651
>UNT Libraries receive grant from federal agency
>to study digital library use by genealogists
>DENTON (UNT), Texas - Recent research from the Pew Internet and American
>Life Project indicates that more than 50 million Americans use the Internet
>for genealogy research, with genealogists comprising nearly a third of all
>users of digital libraries - libraries in which collections are stored in
>digital formats instead of print, microform or other media, and are
>accessible by computers.
>However, almost no research has explored how those interested in genealogy
>- whether through an organization or just as a hobby - use digital
>libraries and what information they seek from the collections.
>The University of North Texas Libraries have received a $448,548, two-year
>National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
>to develop a user-centered design process that digital libraries with
>humanities collections can implement to improve the usability and
>effectiveness of the collections for targeted user groups, such as
>The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of
>federal grant support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500
>museums. With a mission of creating strong libraries and museums that
>connect people to information and ideas, the Institute works at the
>national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to
>sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation;
>and support professional development.
>The National Leadership Grants support projects that have the potential to
>elevate practices in museums and libraries. UNT was one of six Texas
>libraries and museums, and the only university library in the Dallas-Fort
>Worth area, to receive a grant, which provides libraries and museums with
>funding for projects for up to three years.
>Cathy Hartman, the UNT Libraries' assistant dean for digital and
>information technologies, said she and Dreanna Belden, the libraries'
>coordinator for grants and development, decided to apply for the grant to
>research the information needs of genealogists as they interact with the
>Portal to Texas History, which provides users with a digital gateway to
>collections in Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies and
>private collections. The Portal contains primary source materials,
>including maps, books, manuscripts, diaries, photographs and letters.
>"Genealogists use the Portal to help them understand more about family
>history. They can go to the site and find information about the Texas town
>where their grandparents lived or what life was like for the time that
>their ancestors lived," Hartman said.
>Belden said one woman found a funeral card on the Portal for her
>great-uncle, who was a reverend in Marshall, Texas. The image was provided
>to the Portal by the Marshall Public Library. Another user of the Portal,
>Belden said, found a photo of mourners at a mass burial service for victims
>of the 1947 industrial explosion in Texas City, Texas, and identified two
>of the mourners as a relative and the relative's neighbor.
>She pointed out that although the Portal to Texas History is used by all
>age groups, genealogists who use the Portal tend to be older and female.
>One survey from the University of Michigan found that the average age of
>genealogists responding was 62, and the respondents had been engaged in
>genealogical research for an average of 18 years.
>"The view of genealogy as an avocation for those in middle to later life
>generally proves out in research on these demographics," Belden said. "But
>most of the information on users of digital libraries focuses on college
>students and faculty researchers, who may use the libraries for only one
>subject by trying the searching functions. Genealogists, however, are
>lifelong learners who seek browsing pathways."
>Belden and Hartman said members of the Texas State Genealogical Society and
>the Dallas Genealogical Society will be interviewed in focus groups to
>determine their information needs from digital libraries. The project, they
>said, will provide a road map for future studies of other targeted
>"It will build a model for digital library interface development that
>includes a user-centered design approach," Hartman said.
>The University of North Texas is a student-centered public research
>university and the flagship of the UNT System. One of Texas' largest
>universities, UNT offers 96 bachelor's, 111 master's and 50 doctoral degree
>programs, many nationally and internationally recognized. UNT's more than
>34,000 students Discover the Power of Ideas.
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Kathleen Reid Rippel, M.L.S.
Great Bend, KS
Member: Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), 2005-2007
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