Search This Blog


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First research trip, do you have advice?

I have a packed weekend coming up.  My mother-in-law is flying in for a visit, I will be attending the Family Tree University Virtual Conference, and I will be having my first ever research trip.  Packed right?
This Friday (and a little on Saturday) I will be going to NARA and looking at a some files.  A few weeks ago I sent them an email inquiry about how to see files for specific ancestors.  To my great surprise and pleasure a very nice research librarian called me back.  She very patiently answered my questions and gave me advice on when to show up and how to get my researcher card.

I am making my detailed research list so I don't get off track and go wandering down side paths.  There is just one thing I am not completely sure of.  What are the most important things to take wtih me? 

Here is the list of things I am thinking of taking, by following the rules laid out by NARA here.  Do you have any suggestions, additions, or things I should just leave behind?
  • iPad, with my research notes on it
  • a print out of my research goals, in summary, so I can have it (I sitll like paper in a lot of cases)
  • Camera (I don't have a flip pal or other scanner type device)
  • Extra batteries, in case camera stops working
  • Coins for copier
  • pencil, to write on copied paper
*Image from the Library of Congress:  National Archives. National Archives Building, front and left I


  1. Coins for parking if you are on the street.

  2. Hmm... I hadn't thought about that. I hate driving in DC, and avoid it whenever possible. However, thanks for reminding me that I need to check to see how much is on my SmartTrip card for the metro! Knowing that will make it a lot faster to get through the lines the time of day I will be going.