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17 June 2011

Don't Just Show Up

If you are travelling a distance to do research, , do more than just make certain the records office will be open when you are planning to arrive. Find out if there are any days to "avoid" using the facility. Some small courthouses have court on certain days of the week only--these are days to avoid. If you arrive when offices are being remodeled, accessing things may be difficult.

And you may be told to wait to come until "Gertrude comes back from vacation. She knows where everything is."

It's not always possible to schedule a visit perfectly, but sometimes you can maximize the chances you have the best research experience possible.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent advice! Call ahead to find out what records are (or not) available. Some may be in storage or found in a different facility. Post queries in locality message boards to learn what others have to say about a particular courthouse. The same advice applies to libraries and archives. Check the catalogs online before visiting.
    It is a waste of time and money to travel to a distant courthouse and be told "Sorry, those records burned in the fire."