Organizing for more Productive Genealogy Efforts

I took 10 days, ten days, out of my very busy genealogy life to re-organize my personal genealogy library and research files.  My home is an 8-bedroom home on two floors.  Those are just the bedrooms–then there is a very large family room filled with rows of bookshelves, where my 15,000+ book library is located.   And a front entry-way with floor to ceiling bookshelves.  Actually, there are bookshelves in almost every room in my house, except the living-dining room.

Down each hallway–hallways are 4 feet wide–were file cabinets filled with information files from which I draw material to write my blogs and my more than 90 publications.  One large bedroom, with associated hall space and closets, is filled with client research files in their own plastic bins and boxes–research materials from which the genealogies and pedigrees of more than 600 clients were compiled and are now preserved.  I have been actively researching families for clients since 1972.

Why such a concentrated work effort?

Across the street from my home, two neighbors lost their lives, 5 months apart, from falls where they struck their heads on sharp objects in the walkway inside their home where it should be safe to walk.

I determined that would not happen to me!

So a thorough cleaning out–old and obsolete equipment.  Unused books and files. Stores of empty files and paper. Stacktrays no longer needed. GONE.

Stored within the storage areas of the Genealogy Library Center, Inc. in downtown Tremonton, Utah.  Accessible if needed.  Or permanently eliminated.

And my walkways and hallways are open and clear.  An amazing experience–for the first time in 23 years, I can negotiate my home with ease.

Hopefully, before the end of this year, all of the genealogy client files will be transferred to the Library Center where they can be preserved with care.  Until then, they still reside with me.

In this moving process–emotionally moving because the whole house and me and my productivity are vastly improved.  Physically moving because of the exercise I experienced moving boxes and files and books.  Mentally moving because I had to decide which stuff I still needed direct access to at home, where I still do all the analysis of the research I complete on your ancestors.  And where I made new discoveries of research materials long overlooked.

You see, I spent years visiting genealogy libraries and archives all over America–not just to solve research problems but to find out what records and documents and finding aids were available.

I copied or had copied for my use many important items not available in Utah where I had access to the largest genealogy library in the world.  And where I was establishing a unique Genealogy Library Center to house my own personal genealogy library and the libraries of other genealogists whose families did not want or could not preserve lifetimes of work.

Book manuscripts not published.  Genealogy lists compiled from records now gone. Books, now out of print, with fresh and insightful views of historical events.  All of these items I considered essential to apply my unique research system to pedigrees from all over the United States and Canada, the British Isles including Ireland, Switzerland, and parts of Germany.  I collected them–and they got lost in my stuff.

Now I have to marshal troops to help make it all available to you, gentle readers.  You, too, need these to locate and trace your own hard-to-find ancestors.  Stay tuned, you won’t regret it.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle.

PS  Many thanks to Kathryn Bassett, my webmaster, and Virginia R. Hetrick for the guest blog with its description of the National Parks System–imagine 401 specific places to find added information on your ancestors.  Watch for my follow-up post with a new twist on my theme of “Close to Home”–coming soon.


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