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Open Thread Thursday – What’s In Your Research Toolbox?

open thread

This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

Do you maintain a Research Toolbox? A group of links to genealogy research websites that you frequently use? A Research Toolbox could be as simple as an unorganized list of bookmarks or favorites in your web browser. Or it could be a website that you publish much like Cyndi’s List but for your own use or for a specific area of genealogy.

Tell us a) what’s in your Research Toolbox, b) what is the most unusual resource in your Research Toolbox, and c) how you keep it organized.

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I’ll bet that most of us have such a research toolbox whether we know it or not. And much like the dreaded “junk drawer” at home, it is something we keep saying we’ll organize someday.

For me, not only do I have a research toolbox, I’ve posted mine at my personal genealogy blog (click here) and I also have developed a presentation entitled “Building a Research Toolbox.” In fact I am delivering this same presentation in a free webinar on April 6, 2011 at Legacy Family Tree Webinars – click here to register.

Why would I do this?  Well in a way it is part of my “giving back” to the genealogy community and thanking all those people who run those sites – many are free – and provide valuable research information to all of us.

So to answer this week’s questions:

  • my research toolbox is heavy with library-related links and also has a focus on New York and Illinois ancestry
  • my most unusual resource is probably one for historical weather information called WeatherBase
  • I post my research toolbox not only on my blog but I created a standalone website entitled Genealogy Research Toolbox using Weebly as well as several other locations on the Web.

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Please either post on today’s topic of “What’s In Your Research Toolbox” at your own blog and then post the link here in the comments or simply add your two cents in the comments section.

This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

13 thoughts on “Open Thread Thursday – What’s In Your Research Toolbox?

  1. Interesting topic. When I changed over to my new template back last spring, one of the things important to me in choosing a new template was a nice tidy way to organize my links. I have about a hundred resource links of one sort or another at the bottom of my blog, and I’m adding more all the time. I have no intention of reinventing Cyndi’s List. Her’s is wonderful, and I couldn’t if I tried. My list includes links that I use all the time, things I think are helpful, and things I think might be useful to someone else. When I do my research I kind of use my blog like my own personal website, one stop shopping if you will. It works for me.

  2. This is definitely something I need to do. As a beginner, I don’t have as many, but do need to get what I have organized.

    My only comment, is please indicate whether it is a paid subscription. It is so frustration to go to a site, and find the only way to use it is to pay for it.

  3. Great thread idea…I’ve posted mine in my blog, and included my favorite free internet research resources…

  4. On Safari on my desktop computer, I have a very long list in the Genealogy folder on my Bookmark page; this is arranged into folders, which have sub-folders, which have sub-sub-folders. It’s gotten a little bit smaller since I have started to clean up, organize, and eliminate links that no longer exist, but I also have to bring in some bookmarks from other computers. In addition to each state and ethnic (German, Italian, Jewish, Native American) group involved in my research, there are folders for the following subjects: Ancestry, Blog tips, Cemeteries, Census, Civil War, County Histories, Digitized books, Families (with sub-folders for each family name), Footnote, Genealogy blogs and newsletters, Genealogy forums, Genealogy How-To, Genealogy search pages (this is where some of the biggies such as FamilySearch go), Genealogy societies, Genealogy links (collections of links such as Cyndi’s List, Steve Morse, and smaller sites), Genealogy tools, General history, Libraries, Mac genealogy, Maps, Miscellaneous genealogy, New England genealogy, Newspapers, PERSI, Photographs, Rootsweb, Search services, Sources. I know how to import bookmarks, but my next “stupid tech question” post will probably be on recreating this arrangement in Firefox and the new version of Safari (like newer versions of iPhoto – NOT an improvement!). From the comments above, guess it’s time to add a page to the blog to hold all these links.

  5. I got excited about this when you spoke at EWGS in Spokane last year.
    Question: How do I keep all my links synched in the different formats?
    I have bookmarked websites in Firefox and have created a list in WordPerfect but it is time consuming to try and add them to both places.
    And if I started adding them to my blog as well, what a headache to keep everything organized and synched.
    How do yo do it?

  6. This is great! I’m glad you posted this new free website. I’ve been looking for an easy-to-use site to organize all of my links and forms. I’ve already started building my site, and I just got tickled when the first name I chose was available. I’ll post a link on my blog when it’s ready for “prime time.”

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