Sunday, October 12, 2008

What You Missed: The Fall 2008 Seminar

Those who attended, agree: if you missed the Fall 2008 Seminar with Barbara Nuehring, you missed out! Ms. Nuehring brought knowledge, skill, and humor to her topics, Bytes, Boxes & Beyond, and every one of us came away having learned much and eager to try out her suggestions!

Her first lecture, "Timelines: Understanding Your Ancestor's World," discussed the importance of timelines to family historians, the different types and scopes of timlines, sources of existing timelines, and methods for develoing customized timelines. Not only did Barbara encourage us to put flesh on the bones, but to add clothing and a setting to our family history!

"Using Boxes to Think Outside the Box" came next, and she explained that cells and tables found in spreadsheets and word processing programs are the "boxes" we can use as tools to analyze, organize, and absorb information. Her helpful syllabus gave step-by-step directions to create an Excel worksheet from the Family History Catalog's film notes, as well as links to free downloadable pre-formated Excel spreadsheets or Microsoft Word documents for transcribing source documents. Her instructions were clear and concise and helpful even for those with limited experience with these programs.

After a tasty lunch catered by the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute food service staff, we listed to "Digitizing Your Genealogy: Relax! It's Only Bits & Bytes". Ms. Nuehring explained the importance of digitzing your genealogy files, the various types of files, how to download, photograph, and/or scan files so that they are digitized, and gave ideas on how to organize these digital files. The last was especially useful, as she gave some great ideas for naming files within folders so they are easy to find as well as easy to analyze while browing through them.

"Beyond Words: Dressing Up Your Family History" was next. While her "Timelines" presentation added a setting to a family history, "Beyond Words" provided a wardrobe to our ancestors' bare bones after the flesh was added. Four areas were covered: "The Closet: Hardware and Software," "The Clothes: The Four Principles of Design," "The Cosmetics: Fonts and Attributes," and "The Accessories: Charts, Maps & Illustrations." These were followed by a list of resources for helping create a beautifully clothed family history publication.

What was your favorite part of this seminar, and what did you learn? Please leave your comments below.

The next general meeting will be held Saturday, November 1st in the first floor meeting rooms of the downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library (906 W. Main). A Problem-Solving Panel will be available to help members and non-members alike with suggestions for breaking down your brick walls. To receive expert help with your research challenges, submit them to Pat Bayonne-Johnson by October 15th. This meeting is FREE to the general public. Coffee, Cookies, and Conversation begin at 12:30, followed by the business session at 1:00. The main event will begin at 1:30. Paid parking is available in the library basement accessed on Spokane Falls Blvd. and across Lincoln St. in River Park Square. A skywalk to the second floor of the library is accessible from River Park Square.

No comments: