TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-07 > 1278434759
From: "Eileen Souza" <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] EE Discussion - Fundamentals of Evidence Analysis -Basic Issues (1.2)
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 12:45:59 -0400
I've been reading the RES and now, the EE threads seeing much discussion
directed to digital records and finally felt I wanted to contribute my two
cents. <g> Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of digitizing records but I
don't see changing any research methodology or research standards based on
the format of the records.
While the Internet has provided valuable digital records accessible through
various sites, there is a downside. The upside is obvious: cost and time
savings; the downside, less so.
Searching digital records requires additional skills and knowledge. Every
search engine has its own unique foibles and human error issues. There are
many searches where I end up going through the images page by page; and
while all pages are in the original source, the digital version can be
missing pages. I've experienced this several times.
Are the digital databases 100% complete? Sometimes that is not obvious.
All sites or all databases on a site are not all documented as to
completeness. Additional records are added daily. The researcher must
repeat their research over and over to pick up new information.
If you search the original census book for the 1880 census, even for
negative results, you can be fairly confident that it is not going to change
so you can mark that particular search complete. When you do the same
search online with negative results, can you mark it complete? If not, to
insure a reasonably exhaustive search, you will still need to search the
Citing and evaluating digital sources is more complex. Did they come from a
reliable version of the original sources ? Valuable information that can be
used to verify the source content can be left out of digital source
I think, as usual, Elizabeth said it best: "All things considered, our task
as history researchers is to learn the sources, learn the methods, learn the
standards, and apply them all as carefully and diligently as possible."
Eldersburg, MD 21784
|Re: [TGF] EE Discussion - Fundamentals of Evidence Analysis -Basic Issues (1.2) by "Eileen Souza" <>|