As I began researching my own New Netherland family lines in depth I also became interested in others. Because it was so difficult accessing the early records I needed for my research I began to build my own personal research library. I bought out-of-print books and reprints of previously published books. I sought out (and found) all the original court record books for New Amsterdam (now New York City), Beverwyck and Fort Orange (now Albany).
And so I contacted the NYGBR and explained what I wanted - every single issue of the journal since its first publication. I think they were shocked. They explained they were missing some of the earlier issues but they would ship what they had. I don't want to tell you what this cost (the journals + shipping + border crossing fees + Ontario taxes = gulp) because I'm afraid putting it in print means I've slipped into the realm of those who spend more than they can afford on something they don't really truly need. Or being a hoarder.
When my boxes of journals arrived months later, whoever packed them had done an inventory by hand of every volume and every number and every year. I was the proud, and I admit overwhelmed, owner of 374 yellow journals dating from January 1870 to January 1999.
374 NYGBR journals spanning 129 years. Some of the earlier ones were crumbling. The covers were crumbling with pieces falling off every time they were handled. I made room on all my bookcases in my office. They filled every space and that meant all my carefully sought out-of-print or reprinted books on New Netherland had to go. But where? I wanted everything at my fingertips not in different rooms.
|One of my tubs of NYGBR|
And then the NYGBR came out with the entire set on CD ROM a few years later. So I ordered it too. And I packed up my 374 journals, put them in waterproof tubs and had my husband store them in one of our barns.
And there they lie. It bothers me. I don't like using the CD-ROM versions. I know they will not always be accessible as books/journals are. I want to be able to access every single set of church or miscellaneous records in those journals. But the photocopying project that entails overwhelms me.
|Tubs of NYGBR Journals|
* Should I find room for them somewhere in my house? That's not physically possible
* Should I destroy the journals by cutting out the pages I want and putting those pages in binders? That idea makes me shudder, there seems something so inherently wrong about that!
* Should I suck it up and start the photocopying project? That seems the best solution of the three I have thought of but then what do I do with the journals? Donate them? Where? No library near me would want them (I live in Ontario Canada, not much call for 17th century New York records) To ship them somewhere would cost a fortune.
And can I give them up? Maybe that's the true test of whether or not I'm a genealogy hoarder. I don't think I can part with them!
I could really use some input and suggestions!