16 Feb 2015

Gendover: Week 5 - Tool Box and Citations

'Tools of the trade' by Jack Mallon,
available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence.

I've been looking forward to this week, mostly because it's all about your toolbox.

I have only recently become aware of the concept of a 'genealogical toolbox or toolkit', previously I'd just been collecting references, bookmarks, notes on scraps of paper and putting them in various folders thinking "I'll get to that later"; of course I never did!

And then, a kind friend on Facebook, directed me to this new site on the Internet, she was sure I'd like it. It is called Pinterest, and after I re-surfaced two days or so later I got back in touch with her and said yes, I liked it very much!

The only problem with Pinterest (and yes I know starting with a problem isn't the usual way of doing things), is that it is FULL to the brim of BSOs (bright shiny objects) which you can chase to your heart's content. Hence why I resurfaced two days after joining up!

So that's my warning to you, before you go any further, PINTEREST IS ADDICTIVE. 

There now that's out of the way I can get back to how I use it for genealogy.  The concept of Pinterest is that you have a webpage that's full of pin-boards. You can label these boards however you want. On to these boards you stick pins (think cork notice board and lots of paper). It is such a simple concept it's brilliant. It's also a very good visual way of keeping bookmarks.

Pinterest has developed add-in's that run in the background on all the major browsers so you don't have to have the Pinterest page open to use it. If you see something you like and there's an image on the page you hover your mouse over the image and a 'Pin It' sign comes up, click it and you've saved it. If there's 'no pinable image' to be found you can take a snip or screenshot, go to the Pinterest page and click 'Upload a Pin' then edit the information. There is also an app so you can take your boards with you.

My page (if you want to see just how I have mine set up) can be found at www.pinterest.com/lazyloveruk

This is a zoomed out view of some of my boards

My boards are split into countries, counties, areas of interest etc. I have 99 boards and (at the last count) 1,461 pins. So in summary Pinterest is my Toolkit.


Now I know there's been a lot written about citations, why they are required and the best way of doing them. Evidence Explained (EE) is the standard document that is referred to when discussing citations, but here's where I make an admission, I have not looked to Evidence Explained when producing my citations. 

I recently finished the Post Graduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde and they have their own citation system. It is based on the Harvard Referencing System and, from what I've seen of Evidence Explained in various blogs etc. the two are similar. 

Citations are used to ensure that the reader can quickly locate the source material if they want to double-check it. They are used so that research can be reconstructed and followed easily. 

For me, the main thing is to choose a citation style and be consistent with it, so creating citation templates is a must.