Lunch-room Discussions of 1976-7

Over a period of six months or so some of the professional genealogists who regularly used the Church’s library and cafeteria scheduled their lunch at the same time so that they might use the time profitably in discussion of topics of interest and importance to the viability of genealogy as a profession. In order to increase the effectiveness of these discussions it was decided that some of them ought to be structured in at least two ways: 1) as single person must have the opportunity to expound his point of view on a topic of mutual interest, 2) these expressions would have to be provided in writing, so that others would be enabled to address their comments to specific points. It was therefore intended to be possible, but not necessary for the author to pursue and refine ideas presented to the extent that a written composition in finished form might result. Yet the presentation of such finished works must be discouraged as beyond the actual goals of this exercise.

In 2004 I decided to post the occasional papers to this internet web site. They were published in limited form (mimeographed) at the time, but the issues addressed in them did seem to deserve a wider dissemination. I think that some issues may be irrelevant now, but others seem to be perennial.

After all this time (27 years) I can’t remember all of the details of the presentation. I couldn’t find a paper with the number four on it. Since I found several without a number, I have put two of them in the place of number 4. The first is exceptional because it was not written for this series. Hugh Nibley was a respected scholar of ancient history, and what he said about publishing seemed particularly important. At least it expressed my feelings and tended to solidify my thinking on the matter. The other paper in that position was not authored, but I think it was Norman’s. Mine was labeled as an occasional paper, but not given a number, so I think it was first. The last paper was presented, I think, in 1979, after a bit of a hiatus. Not unexpectedly it failed to received much serious attention from that forum.