Unique, unpublished materials can be valuable resources for solving those pesky genealogical problems and adding insight and flavor to our family histories. Research is not complete without looking through unusual and one-of-a-kind materials that may be available for the time and place our ancestors lived. Diaries, letters, journals, scrapbooks, and other ephemera can be found in a variety of repositories across the United States. A genealogical society, public or private library, historical society, university, or other entity may have that one piece of paper that illuminates our family’s history. But how can we find it? This lecture describes the types of collections that may be hiding in plain sight and how to access them online and in person. Materials that may be found in manuscript collections include maps, photographs, genealogists’ research notes, unpublished histories, business ledgers, journals, and vertical files. Shellee gives examples of how these materials provide insight into our families’ lives and neighborhoods and provides suggestions on where to find the “diamonds in the rough.”
Shellee Morehead, PhD, CG, has a Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology from the University of Utah and is an associate professor of Biology at the New England Institute of Technology. She was certified by BCG in 2012, and researches, writes and lectures on family history.
Her specialties include Rhode Island, Italian, and French-Canadian research and genetic genealogy. She is an associate of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), a member of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society, American-French Genealogical Society, and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) New England Chapter.