Several years ago I wrote about planning ahead for a research trip to Salt Lake City Family History Library. I haven’t been back in 5 years but am heading there in February as an Official RootsTech Blogger. Although I’ll be busy at the Conference, I’ve got 3 days beforehand to do my own personal research at the Library. Things change - technology advances, the Library rearranges items and makes new purchases - and that means it is time to work out a new plan.
- I need to organize my genealogy and decide what individuals or families I will concentrate my research time on. Part of this organization is making sure details are entered in my Family Tree Maker 2011 genealogy program on whatever device I am taking with me. Gone are the days of lugging around binders and cases full of paper notes and charts.
- Decide what device I am taking for my files and continued note-taking of research finds. At this time I’m torn between my iPad where I use an App called GedView, or my MacBook Air where I use Family Tree Maker for Mac I’m leaning towards the MacBook Air simply because it has the genealogy program I’m most comfortable with. I need a way to quickly look up, and add, facts and details.
- Make sure I have extra batteries for my Flip-Pal Scanner. (Read about how much I love this scanner) I don’t know if it’s going to work for me but I’m taking it with me. I hope it will scan records I view on microfilm as they are projected on the viewing surface of the microfilm reader. It will definitely save me from lining up at the photocopiers to copy records I find in books!
- Consult the online FamilySearch Catalogue for records (films, books) I want to consult. If I make a list now, it will save me hours of time once at the Library in Salt Lake City. Most microfilm is self-serve so if I have my list of numbers I can quickly go to the drawers and grab the first set of three films I need.
- If I had not done this already, I would be booking my hotel now. You have many choices and will need to decide what is most important to you - proximity to the FHL, or cost, or a preferred hotel chain. This year I am staying at a hotel that I’ve never used before so I’ll be sure to let you know later in February how that worked out.
- You will need a research bag to carry your devices and other necessary items. I like to have pens, pencils, markers, notebook or pad of paper, coloured paper for making hard-to-read microfilm more legible, kleenex (tissues), lozenges for dry throat, Tylenol for headaches after staring at microfilm for hours on end, a few bandaids just in case, gum and a magnifying glass. I also toss in a small ziplock bag of coins in case I need to purchase a Copy Card although I can’t see me needing one this time.
- I am going to have to figure out a way of keeping my iPad (if I take it) and my MacBook Air safe. I can try to make sure I carry them with me at all times but I like backup plans so am going to think about a way to lock them up securely. Things do get stolen and you cannot leave such items lying on your microfilm reader table or at a table in the Library.
- Make sure I have padded cases to protect each of my devices. Yes they will be in a research or computer carry bag but they need to be protected on their own.
- Pack extra batteries, chargers, cables and whatever else might be needed with my devices - iPhone, iPad, Flip-Pal Scanner and MacBook Air.
- Today I am going to see if my Magic Jack will plug into and work on my MacBook. If it does I will also take that plus a small portable phone so that I can call friends and family for free and they can call me for no more than it would have cost them to phone me at my home.
That is my 10 point checklist for my planned trip to Salt Lake City. It’s all about efficiency and saving my limited time for the actual research! Fingers crossed that I have not forgotten anything.