Chances are that you, family historian, live within reach of a local genealogical server, an organization that is dedicated to preserving your sanity, as you preserve your family’s stories. These genealogical societies can host educational events, house regional history archives, and provide encouraging words during even the most discouraging of times.
My local server, The Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, includes an amazing team of photographers who have rigged up a splendid system of cameras, lights and reflectors. These digitizing fiends capture a myriad of local documents, from baptismal records to century-old newspapers, AND, as I discovered, members’ family treasures.
I recently acquired a set of deeds for my husband’s childhood home in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. The series begins in 1883, with a wonderful document from the Diamond Coal Land Company conveying title to a parcel in Square #6 of the Diamond Addition. Measuring 16¾ inches by 27¼ inches, the yellowed paper proved impossible to scan and challenging to clearly photograph at home. After explaining my predicament to these local genealogists, the guys offered to make digital copies for me! While the cameras worked their magic, I read the Hazleton (PA) Sentinel’s 1884 account of the coal trade on an in-house computer, another product of their preservationist zeal.
Local genealogical societies are wonderful groups to support, with your membership fees and your company. We all have so much to gain from the camaraderie and sharing.