A Search of the Literature: A Few Articles of Interest To the Professional Genealogist

—Kip Sperry

The topic of this paper is the presentation of a brief annotated bibliography of some selected journal articles which will be of interest to the professional genealogist. These journals are readily available at the Genealogical Department Library, the University of Utah, or BYU.

One conclusion which can be reached after brief searches of the library/genealogical literature: there is a definite absence of material on genealogical librarianship — either in serial or mongraphic form. This is partially due to the paucity of professional librarians (those individuals with an MLS or Ph.D. in library science) who have serious professional genealogical interests. There are very few professional librarians who are engaged in serious professional genealogical work, either full time or part time, such as compiling family genealogies, or writing (for professional journals or writing books).

Dismukes, Camillus J.“Aides for the Family Historian: Mechanics, Pitfalls, and Concepts of Genealogy.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 57 (September 1969): 163-178.
   Dr. Dismukes gives us some interesting thoughts concerning the mechanics of genealogical research and a list of common pitfalls in genealogy.
Gordon, Robert S.“In Search of Pre-American Ancestors — A New Approach.” The American Archivist 34 (July 1971): 251-7.
   Gordon outlines some basic research sources, including Canadian sources. He is an exponent of the cliometric method of research, which states that historical events can be measured in precise mathematical terms; it challenges the traditional methodology of research.
Hays, Samuel P.“History and Genealogy: Patterns of Change and Prospects for cooperation.” 3 parts. Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives 7 (Spring-Fall 1975): 39-43, 81-84, 187-191.
   A three-part scholarly article which examines the relationships between history/historians and genealogy/genealogists.
Kammen, Michael.“The American Revolution Bicentennial and the Writing of Local History” History News 30 (August 1975): 1-12.
   Kammen gives us a scholarly, and well-documented, article which discusses the recent outpursts of local history writing in America.
Kyvig, David E.“Family History: New Opportunities for Archivists” The American Archivist 38 (October 1975): 509-519.
   Written for archivists, this scholarly article focuses on the emerging interest of family research in America. The relationship between the family history movement and archival administration is examined.
Mitchell, Memory F.“Publishing in State Historical Journals.” Wisconsin Magazine of History 59 (Winter 1975-76): 135-142.
   Although written for historians, Mitchell offers some important tips on getting articles published in historical journals. This article is a must for the genealogical-journalist.
Parker, J. Carlyle.“Resources in the Field — Genealogy: Part I, Discrimination Against Genealogists.” “Genealogy: Part II, Basic Reference Tools for American Libraries.” Wilson Library Bulletin 47 (November 1972): 254-261.
   Parker presents a few prejudicial attitudes some librarians have toward genealogists. He also discusses the problems inherent in the national Interlibrary Loan Code, which prohibits genealogical materials from being circulated through interlibrary loan. In part II, he lists some important sources for a basic genealogical reference collection. The list is incomplete, however.
Rubincam, Milton.“Pitfalls in Genealogical Research.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 43 (June 1955): 41-5.
   This is one of Rubincam’s classics, wherein he outlines six pitfalls of genealogists, such as the failure of genealogists to make a search of periodical literature before beginning intensive research.
Rubincam, Milton.“Problems of Genealogy Today.” The Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Magazine 34 (Fall 1970): 1-6.
   Rubincam presents varied ideas of interest to professional genealogists, including the need for professional development.
Rubincam, Milton.“What the Genealogist Expects of an Archival Agency.” The American Archivist 12 (October 1949): 333-8.
   In this article Rubincam looks at record repositories through the eyes of a professional genealogist.
White, Elizabeth Pearson.“Constructive Imagination in Family Research.” Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly 7 (June 1975): 96-102.
   A list of tips for the genealogist are outlined in this article. Also included is a list of useful reference sources.