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The Center. A Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Capital Area Paperback – December 8, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

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The title of this work alludes to the fact that "Washington, DC is home to the largest body of accessible research materials in the world." Its purpose is to aid family historians in tracing ancestors with the rich resources of the federal government; societies and associations; ethnic, cultural, and religious groups; military records; university archives and special collections; and specialized genealogical research libraries located in the Washington area, including Maryland and Virginia.

It is a work with roots in Lest We Forget: A Guide to Genealogical Research In the Nation's Capital, published by the Annandale [VA] Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Schaefer is director. Many changes have taken place since the 1989 edition of that work. Among them: the Library of Congress is undergoing renovations that affect details on collections and locations, the National Archives is in the process of moving key records important for genealogical research, and the cartographic branch in Alexandria, Virginia, has been closed.

There are chapters for each type of collection. Of the above-listed topics, the National Archives receives the most detailed coverage; the Library of Congress, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the National Genealogical Society are next. All chapters include addresses and telephone and fax numbers. Public transportation and parking, rules of access, hours, copying facilities, and online addresses for gophers and URLs are covered. There is general information on the organization of various collections within a facility and floor plans of some of the reading rooms. Extensive information on census records and finding aids is included. The chapter "Ethnic and Religious Research" covers collections on Jewish and Holocaust, Arab American, Islamic, Armenian, Mennonite, and other genealogy. Frequent sidebars with bibliographies, lists, statistics, and facts complement the text. An index of facilities by place, an extensive bibliography, a section of selected NARA order forms for mail requests, and a subject/title index complete the volume.

The Center is a truly valuable resource; libraries with genealogy collections will find it is an important addition to their reference shelves. Researchers planning a trip to the DC area will also want to consult Bergheim's The Look-It-Up Guide to Washington Libraries & Archives [RBB Mr 15 96], which covers a few collections in greater detail.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Genealogical Publishing Company; 1st edition (December 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806315156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806315157
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By DearMYRTLE on September 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
Those of us familiar with using the family history resources of our nation's capital have long relied on a book titled "Lest We Forget" published by the Annandale Virginia LDS Family History Center. The author has made arrangements with the Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc. of Baltimore Maryland to publish a revision greater in scope and quantity.
The successor to "Lest We Forget" is known as:
THE CENTER: A Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Capital Area by Christina K. Schaefer
The flyer announcing its publication effectively points out that so many of the records available in the greater Washington, DC area are also available on microfilm through the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and over 2,000 local branches. This new book itemizes those materials available through this system. "So while Washington is clearly the center for research, it need not be your destination."
I heartily recommend this publication to libraries and individuals focusing on genealogy research!
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