by Delia

It's September, and children (grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends) are back in school. Most of us don't think that the sources we use on a daily basis provide any assistance to students unless they actually have a course on family history. But a number of sources with which we are familiar could prove to be very useful to young, non-family historians.

One great source is The Periodical Source Index (PERSI). Since we at The Genealogy Center produce it, I tend to be a bit more familiar than most with this wonderful source. Many years ago, one of my nieces was working on a long term American history project. PERSI provided numerous citations to articles of interest. My niece wrote a great paper and the teacher was very impressed with the variety of unusual sources.

For students studying state history, the older state and county histories and atlases available at The Genealogy Center, and online at Internet Archive and Family History Books, can also provide uncommon sources for research.

Volumes of history and experiences by ethnic groups or someone in military service can also add substance to a historical project. Letters, diaries and reminiscences provide color to the paper, but also provides a greater learning experience to the student. Books and websites of photos and newspaper accounts, which may be available online, are useful as well.

So this year, when a student you know begins research for a school project, from elementary school to graduate school, suggest some sources from your repertoire that will provide unusual resources to the student, and it just may spark an interest in someone in the next generation in historical research.