VOLUNTEERS OF SUMMER QUARTER,
The LIBRARY and ARCHIVES COMMITTEES
Each quarter, the Seattle Genealogical Society recognizes one member as our Volunteer of the Quarter. This quarter we are honoring all the members of our Library and Archives Committees as our Volunteers of Summer Quarter 2021.
Thanks to the diligence of the Library and Archives Committees, the daunting task of preparing the library’s holdings for our upcoming move to The Good Shepherd Center is moving along nicely.
‘Working together for a common goal’
The Library Committee is in the process of taking inventory, culling the collection, and digitizing items. This is to trim the collection to fit the shelving space that will be available in the new location.
Many of the library committee volunteers have been with the group since it officially began in 2013. Sue Jensen has been working on comparing the SGS catalog with what is available at the Seattle Public Library, Open Library, and Google Books to determine the duplicates and online availability of items. She has also been training with Ann Wright to help her with her webmaster duties. Ann has been working on digitization and databases. Dona Bubelis, a retired reference librarian, is also working hard on the databases. Charlotte Wixon has been putting her skills to good use doing book repair, binding, and labeling.
The library has an extensive collection of periodicals. Linda Fitzgerald has been culling these, especially the history items that don’t include genealogical information. The duplicates and culled items are destined to find good homes. The committee has already determined that there are gaps in the holdings of the Seattle Public Library that SGS can fill. SGS’ catalog will direct users to the Seattle Public Library if the needed items are not physically available at the SGS library.
The digitization and indexing efforts are moving along very well, but there is so much work still to be done. Each item, once imaged, has to be checked against the original, organized, prepared for publication, and cataloged. In addition to Ann, Jess Ramey and Ellen Peterson have been working on this and could use extra help. Jess said that volunteering “is a wonderful way to share your life learned skills with others and to make a difference even in a small way.”
These volunteers love their work and are very dedicated to the needs of SGS. And as Ann said, “The best part is coming in and working together for a common goal – that’s what keeps us coming back.”
‘Murders, suicides, romances, joys and sorrows’
If the word “archives” makes you think of musty tomes in the dank basements of county courthouses, think again. SGS has had a vibrant Archives Committee for much of the past decade, and it is anything but musty.
“We support each other, laugh too much and, some say, too loud,” said committee member Nancy Hevly. “We organize histories that read like novels – murders, suicides, romances, joys and sorrows.” Hevly retired in 1991 after nearly 40 years as a writer-editor for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and has been active with SGS in the intervening years.
Pat Younie is another longtime SGS member who’s held numerous leadership roles and was in on the ground floor when the Archives Committee was founded, along with SGS member Ida McCormick. She said she’s “learned lots of little tricks” about researching family history over her years on the committee, but the supportive nature of the group is equally important to her.
Once committee members were vaccinated last January, Younie said, “we met socially at the beach and parks; we would bring a brown bag lunch, a camp chair and have lunch observing the 6-foot rule.” The group has supported each other through medical problems and “good news, bad news, and sad news” about family members. “We’ve created our own little bubble to work in,” Younie said.
And speaking of work, the committee began preparing for the move of the SGS Library months before its reopening earlier this summer. They’ve been painstakingly going through materials, sorting, and deciding where duplicates or other items should be sent. Ingrida Gray, a member since 2013, said she enjoys “learning proper methods to organize and save valuable research material,” including donated family records. Also on the subject of donated family records, long time committee member, Bernice Keller, recalls these records will sometimes contain funny stories, including “black sheep, strange events” and other surprises. Bernice has been a member of SGS for over 20 years and she was Volunteer of the Quarter – Winter 2019.
The work of the Archives Committee won’t end when SGS moves into its new library at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. New volunteers are welcome. As Hevly said, “I found my true calling” after responding to a notice seeking new Archives Committee members. “I gained lessons in genealogy from professionals, work that is entertaining as well as educational and, most important, a set of dear friends.”
Again, thanks to all the members of these committees for all their hard work. For information about joining either the Library or Archives Committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Wright, Sue Jensen, and Dona Bubelis,
members of the Library Committee, collaborate. Remember SGS is a member-driven, volunteer-run organization. We could not continue to operate without the support of our members, and the talents and dedication of our volunteers.
* SAVE THE DATE
*SGS 2021 Fall Seminar – Online with Ari Wilkins
Saturday, October 16, 2021, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Mark your calendars now for our all-day seminar!
Ari Wilkins is a genealogist and library associate at Dallas Public Library, where she provides genealogy-programming education. She specializes in African American genealogy and research, with a focus on North Carolina and Louisiana, and has been researching her family history since 1998.
Ari worked with the esteemed genealogist, Dr. James Rose, on his project, “Generations: The WPA Ex-Slave Narrative Database.” She has spoken nationally at the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, RootsTech, Texas State Genealogical Society, Ohio Genealogical Society, the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research, American Library Association, and at a multitude of local societies.
SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS*
The SGS Library is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, for computer-based research only. Visit the SGS Website for details.
We recommend you plan your visit and call ahead – 206 522-8658.
** Always check the SGS Website Calendar of Events for the meeting links and for any last minute updates or changes to the schedule.
Wednesday, Aug 4, 2021, 10:00 am-11:30 am, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists.
Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021, 10:00 am-11:00 am, Tech Tuesday (Virtual), back by popular demand, the informal consultation time on DNA, genealogy software, or genealogy-related technical issues. All are welcome. No appointment necessary.
Wednesday, Aug 11 , 2021, 10:00 am-11:30 am, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists.
Wednesday, Aug 18, 2021, 10:00 am-11:30 am, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists.
Tuesday, Aug 24, 2021, 10:00 am-11:00 am, Tech Tuesday (Virtual), back by popular demand, the informal consultation time on DNA, genealogy software, or genealogy-related technical issues. All are welcome. No appointment necessary.
Wednesday, Aug 25, 2021, 10:00 am-11:30 am, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists.
SGS members, did you remember to renew? If you have not done so, please take a few moments now to renew your SGS membership. It is our 98th year! When you renew online you can pay your dues with a credit/debit card right away, or print out your invoice and send it with your dues payment to SGS. Log in at Members Home, then go to your Member Profile and click the green “Renew Membership” button. If you have any questions, send an email to email@example.com.
Not a member yet? Join online today and enjoy discounted class and event fees, free research requests, special interest groups, and access to exclusive SGS publications and databases, as well as video recordings of some of our past Second Saturday presentations.
Find out more about membership at Join SGS.