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From: Dani Brown <>
Subject: Genealogical Standards
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 12:13:25 -0800 (PST)

Information Series on Genealogy%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
This article is another of a series that I will
present to the group for
information, education, or to enlighten.

List Administrator
Good morning, everyone. :-)
For old hands, this is nothing new. But, as we are
always having some
people, this is for newer people to genealogy.

Genealogical Standards

Standards For Sound Genealogical Research
Recommended by the National Genealogical Society

Remembering always that they are engaged in a quest
for truth, family
history researchers consistently—

Record the source for each item of information they

Test every hypothesis or theory against credible
evidence, and reject
that are not supported by the evidence.

Seek original records, or reproduced images of them
when there is
assurance they have not been altered, as the basis for

their research

Use compilations, communications and published works,
whether paper or
electronic, primarily for their value as guides to
locating the original

State something as a fact only when it is supported by

and identify the evidence when communicating the fact
to others.

Limit with words like "probable" or "possible" any
statement that is
on less than convincing evidence, and state the
reasons for concluding
it is probable or possible.

Avoid misleading other researchers by either
intentionally or carelessly
distributing or publishing inaccurate information.

State carefully and honestly the results of their own
research, and
acknowledge all use of other researchers’ work.

Recognize the collegial nature of genealogical
research by making their
available to others through publication, or by placing

copies in
libraries or repositories, and by welcoming critical

Consider with open minds new evidence or the comments
of others on their
work and the conclusions they have reached.

©1997 by National Genealogical Society. Permission is
granted to copy or
publish this material provided it is reproduced in its

this notice.

Standards For Use Of Technology In Genealogical
Recommended by the National Genealogical Society

Mindful that computers are tools, genealogists take
full responsibility
their work, and therefore they—

learn the capabilities and limits of their equipment
and software, and
them only when they are the most appropriate tools for

a purpose.

refuse to let computer software automatically
embellish their work.

treat compiled information from on-line sources or
digital data bases
that from other published sources, useful primarily as

a guide to
original records, but not as evidence for a conclusion

or assertion.

accept digital images or enhancements of an original
record as a
satisfactory substitute for the original only when
there is reasonable
assurance that the image accurately reproduces the
unaltered original.

cite sources for data obtained on-line or from digital

media with the
care that is appropriate for sources on paper and
other traditional
and enter data into a digital database only when its
source can remain
associated with it.

always cite the sources for information or data posted

on-line or sent to

others, naming the author of a digital file as its
immediate source,
crediting original sources cited within the file.

preserve the integrity of their own data bases by
evaluating the
of downloaded data before incorporating it into their
own files.

provide, whenever they alter data received in digital
form, a description
the change that will accompany the altered data
whenever it is shared

actively oppose the proliferation of error, rumor and
fraud by personally

verifying or correcting information, or noting it as
unverified, before
passing it on to others.

treat people on-line as courteously and civilly as
they would treat them
face-to-face, not separated by networks and anonymity.

accept that technology has not changed the principles
of genealogical
research, only some of the procedures.

©1997 by National Genealogical Society. Permission is
granted to copy or
publish this material provided it is reproduced in its

this notice.

Standards For Using Records Repositories And Libraries
Recommended by the National Genealogical Society

Recognizing that how they use unique original records
and fragile
publications will affect other users, both current and

future, family
history researchers habitually—

are courteous to research facility personnel and other

researchers, and
respect the staff’s other daily tasks, not expecting
the records
to listen to their family histories nor provide
constant or immediate

dress appropriately, converse with others in a low
voice, and supervise
children appropriately.

do their homework in advance, know what is available
and what they need,
avoid ever asking for "everything" on their ancestors.

use only designated work space areas, respect
off-limits areas, and
permission before using photocopy or microform
equipment, asking for
assistance if needed.

treat original records at all times with great respect

and work with only
few records at a time, recognizing that they are
irreplaceable and that
user must help preserve them for future use.

treat books with care, never forcing their spines, and

handle photographs

properly, preferably wearing archival gloves.

never mark, mutilate, rearrange, relocate, or remove
from the repository
original, printed, microform, or electronic document
or artifact.

use only procedures prescribed by the repository for
noting corrections
any errors or omissions found in published works,
never marking the work

keep note-taking paper or other objects from covering
records or books,
avoid placing any pressure upon them, particularly
with a pencil or pen.

use only the method specifically designated for
identifying records for
duplication, avoiding use of paper clips, adhesive
notes, or other means
approved by the facility, unless instructed otherwise,

replace volumes
files in their proper locations, before departure,
thank the records
custodians for their courtesy in making the materials

follow the rules of the records repository without
protest, even if they
have changed since a previous visit or differ from
those of another

©1997 by National Genealogical Society; includes
material ©1995 by Joy
Reisinger, CGRSSM. Both copyright owners grant
permission to copy or
these standards, provided they are reproduced in their

this notice.
National Genealogical Society, 4527 17th Street North,

Arlington, VA
Tel. (703) 525-0050 or (800) 473-0060

John Slaughter

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