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30 August 2009

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions

I will admit it. Even after 25 years of research, occasionally a microfilm machine will confuse me. Sometimes I hesitate to ask for help. After all, I should know how to use one. And then I remember, waiting only wastes time.

If there is something at a library or archives that confuses you or you do not understand, ask. Staff can usually help you operate the equipment.

If it is a record or document they cannot help you with, it might be because it is unusual and something with which they are unfamiliar. In that case, consider asking the question on a genealogy mailing list or at your local genealogical society meeting. Someone there probably can help you or point you to someone who can.


  1. Thanks for even writing this! I always feel so stupid when I'm up against a slightly different type of machine. I don't want someone to think I've never looked at microfilm before....as if the person I ask is going to spend their time thinking about me ;-)

  2. I tell my students in my math classes that other students most likely are worried about themselves.

    And most genealogists are worried about their OWN ancestors.