Mining Online Catalogs: Tools & Techniques for Successful Historical & Genealogical Research

Aug 15, 2011




Registration for this program is full. Thank you for your interest!


Join GSP and NARA for a day-long program dedicated to understanding and digging through online catalogs. Free, but registration required. (This is an encore of the sold-out event of last April.) 

9:00 am – 3:45 pm. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Mid-Atlantic Region, 900 Market Street, Philadelphia. 

Local archivists and catalog specialists will discuss how finding aids are created and the most efficient way to use them to locate specific materials within a collection, and how to use finding aids for key word and faceted searching; learn about the concepts of provenance and original order and how catalogers and archivists classify and catalog collections; presenters will also discuss subject heading and search terminology to more efficiently locate and use the online resources found in NUCMC, World Cat, OPAC, Archive Grid and the hundreds of online governmental, university and private repository catalogs. Please note this program has been designed for the intermediate to advanced researcher.  



Beth Bensman, a Certified Archivist, is currently an Archives Specialist for the National Archives at Philadelphia and presents workshops on archival basics for the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts. She has previously held positions at the Presbyterian Historical Society, Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Georgia, and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. While her career has encompassed all areas of archival management, Beth has a particular affinity for outreach, access and reference.



Holly Mengel, PACSCL/CLIR Project Manager, graduated from Dickinson College with a B.A. in history, and the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Science with an M.L.I.S. and a concentration in Archives. Prior to managing the “Hidden Collections” project, she worked on the Dick Thornburgh papers Project at the University of Pittsburgh Archives Service Center and at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives. Holly is particularly interested in promoting use of primary sources in the classroom and increasing awareness of the value of archives to the community. She sees the PACSCL/CLIR project as an ideal vehicle for promoting these “hidden” collections to researchers, including students, professors, scholars, artists, writers and enthusiasts. In addition, she hopes that the experimentation with “More Product, Less Process,” the Archivists’ Toolkit, and team processing will result in a model for other repositories in their efforts to make collections available for research. She started working on the “Hidden Collections” project in July 2009.



Shamele Jordon is a researcher, lecturer, writer and podcaster. Her biographical highlights include: researcher for the PBS series Oprah’s Roots: An African American Lives Special and African American Lives II; former president of the African American Genealogy Group in Philadelphia, PA; lecturer at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, AL, and board member of The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.



Rebekah Kilzer is a lecturer at Drexel University where she teaches the Cataloging and Classification course for the College of Information Science and Technology. Her background is in various areas of academic libraries including Technical Services and Cataloging, Systems and Reference. She is currently the Technologies Partnerships Librarian at Drexel University Libraries, where she works to improve the user experience through systems, services and collaborations.  


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