TMG-L Archives

Archiver > TMG > 2002-09 > 1032426497

From: "Jill Morelli" <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Sources/Citations, where do I begin?
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 05:08:17 -0400
References: <010101c25f68$069c2890$d15af4d1@jann>


I would not call me an "expert" but I just recently have been doing all of
my sources "from scratch" and here are some beginner hints:

1. Does your material have some organization now or is "all just in a box
over there"? If you have the box, you might want to go through the pile and
devise a system (even if it is just in piles)that seems logical to you. If
it is organized but you don't like the way it is, organize now....e.g. you
have everything on Uncle Fred in one file and you would like all the death
certificates in one file instead. I would recommend that you take a little
time before you start inputting sources to do this if you haven't already.
It will help you answer questions about how you like to access your data.
Alternative: organize your "hard copy" as you go along .
2. If you LIKE the way it is organized, I would recommend you leaf through
everything quickly just to refresh you mind as to what you have. That way
you will get an overall idea of the kinds to items you have and may give you
some ideas of how specifically you want to source your information (see no.
4 below.)
3. Next read all the various tips sheets on Lee's and Terry's and others
web pages for how "finely" they do or don't cite.
4. Now you need to decide how specific you wish to get in the citing of
your sources. Are all Death certificates a source and you put the detail in
the detail screen (this would result in many fewer sources, maybe less than
100) or is each Death certificate a separate source (result: a much longer
source list. I am presently at 211). I use the latter but there are folks
with a lot larger databases than I that would have hundreds and maybe
thousands of sources if they used my system. (Example: The abbreviation is
key as that is what you see in the Master Source List.....I like the 2
letter document identifier with either family name or date next, i.e.
DE/Rykena, R.B. for a death certificate for R.B. Rykena, CE1850/Rykena, R.B.
for 1850 census. Right now mine are three letter) You just need to decide
when you open the MSL what will you want to see.....the individual source
listed or a more generic "type".)
5. The most important thing is ....can you determine the source 3 months
from now AND will you be able to find it in hard copy?
6. My technique....I started at the front of the file and went to the back.
One piece at a time. I did find there was much more information on each
document than I thought. I had to do a lot more data entry (as I went a
long) than I thought I would. Be patient.
7. Everybody is different so you will probably get lots of ideas. The part
I like about TMG is that even if I change my mind, I can change my approach
pretty easily. (I am getting ready to modify my census methodology now.)
8. I, too, have struggled with how to handle the occasional postcard etc.
I have decided to put all correspondence by one person in one source.....and
this includes e-mails. So the dates may span over years but the TYPE of
item is in a single source. That still leaves me sometimes with a single
item in a source, but I have decided that's OK.

Sometimes it is easier if "they" have a system and they force you to use it,
but the reason I like this program is the flexibility and that means I have
to do a little more pre-thinking than I would otherwise. But, in the end, I
just love having the source for every scrap of information at my finger tips
and it is well worth it.

So good luck. I hope these offers some help but I apologize for the length.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jann G" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 7:06 PM
Subject: [TMG] Sources/Citations, where do I begin?

> I have two data bases, one with over 4000 names and one with over 2000
names. I have no sources or citations in either of them. I am ready to begin
the monumental task of entering my sources, but I am not sure exactly how to
start. I have been having an awful time trying to understand the difference
between a source and a citation, but I think I have it figured out now. I
feel as if I am doing this backwards, but there is no going back at this
point, I refuse to retype all those people into my data base. I guess I just
don't know how to go about this. Am I making any sense? I purchased the
video tapes and realize now how much work this is going to be. I did not
realize all that was involved in recording a source, but I want very much to
do this.
> Please, the experts out there, tell me in steps how you would go about
starting this at this point? Should I first decide on some general sources
for a list and work from that? What type things are listed in your source
lists? I don't want the list to become unmanageable, but thinking of all the
sources that I have used for 6000+ names it is mind boggling.
> I am also wondering about more abstract sources like Uncle Fred, family
post card collections, personal letters, or someone else's research, or
unidentified material in surname files at a library.
> How would you start this? Any helps would really be appreciated.
> Jann
> ==== TMG Mailing List ====
> Visit the TMG Tips web site <>; for items of interest
to TMG users.

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