Originally, I was going to use an online form to contact the library beforehand and let them know what films I would like to search. I messaged them a few times through Facebook, and they assured me that, because none of the films in which I were interested were solely kept in the Vault, I should have no problems finding them when I arrived.
Well, with my (bad) luck, wouldn't you know it, but the first film I search for was not in its proper place in the microfilm drawers. One of the volunteers kindly helped me search the overflow drawers and even looked around at other patrons to see if they were using it, but we couldn't find it. He ordered it from the Vault and it was thankfully there the next morning! Phew!
Each time I located a record of interest - one that I photographed - I wrote down the name(s), date, location and film number in a steno notebook. I was very careful to maintain my notes in the exact order of the photos I took, so that when I do go to organize the record photos into their proper "family" folders, I will know exactly what record I am looking at and who it 'belongs' to.
- The family of my great-grandfather, Michael Bodziony in southern Poland
- The family of my great-grandfather, Sophia Krupa in southern Poland
- The family of my husband's ancestor, Ferdinand Waterkotte in Ostbevern, Germany
- The family of my husband's ancestors, Gottfried and Maria Eva Wimmers in Garzweiler, Germany
- The family of my husband's ancestor, Johann Michael Drees in Cloppenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
- The family of my husband's ancestor, Maria Catharine Wellerding in Steinfeld, Oldenburg, Germany
It was a great first trip to THE library, and I'm looking forward to going back someday. I spent all of my time on the International Floor. It was so great to look around and see people researching so many different countries of the world, and hearing other patrons and volunteers speak in languages other than English. Even though I didn't really talk with the other patrons, I did feel as if there was a camaraderie between us, and I realized that there really are quite a few of us who are more than a little obsessed with learning about our ancestors. :-)
©2014, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder