Friday, April 19, 2013

First-Timers Friday Part II – Day 2 of NERGC

Unfortunately my second day at NERGC 2013 started out with a horrible migraine.  I did manage to make it to a few sessions, but my mid-afternoon I had to call it quits and head back to my room.  I was hoping to head back over to the Radisson to attend the bloggers SIG this evening, but after a nap and an attempt at food, my migraine is still winning.

Here’s a quick break-down of what I did get to see today.

First, I attended a session about records held at NARA in Waltham, MA.  While the record examples themselves were neat to see, I was hoping to learn more about actually visiting NARA.  There was some information that came out during the Q&A session, but most of the presentation was about using the NARA website to locate the offline records that you might want to see.

The second session that I attended was “Researching Your French and Indian War Ancestor in New England”, presented by Craig Scott,CG.  As I chose a spot to sit, people in the room were already laughing with the presenter.  Apparently he had to buy one of his own books in the exhibit hall, as he didn’t have a copy with him for his presentation.  The laughter and fun continued throughout the presentation, which I found very informative, as the French and Indian War is one of the colonial eras that I don’t know much about.  My favorite quote from the session: “Most forts are not original.  Like courthouses, they tend to burn down.”

After the second time-slot, there was “Unopposed Exhibitor Time” (an *excellent* idea, by the way), plus time for lunch.  I actually reversed the time and grabbed some fresh air, caught up on emails, grabbed a small bite to eat, then went to the exhibit hall.  Of course, the things that drew my attention were no surprise; maps and books.  I kept my promise to my wife, however, and didn’t buy anything new (“No books.  Read the ones you have first.”).  I wrapped up the free time by writing-up and posting yesterday’s experience.

My final session of the day was about using the Library of Congress website.  Unfortunately by this time, my migraine was getting the better of me, so I didn’t get as much out of it as I could have.  I did take a note to check out the digital preservation area of the site.  Directly after this session I headed back to my hotel, which meant skipping the last two sessions, but given how I was feeling, I think it was a wise choice.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow.  There are several session about local resources that I’m hoping to attend, in particular regarding Vermont and New Hampshire.  I texted my wife to thank her for letting me attend the conference.  The next step is to convince her to come along to NERGC in Rhode Island in 2015.

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