History Dept. Research, Day 2: 1880 Census, 1865 Census, Microfiche

07 January 2014

DSC_0151The first half of today was similar to yesterday. I already had the 1880 Census saved as a high-resolution PDF on my laptop, so I set up two screens next to each other on my desk- one with the original census PDF and one with the Excel file. Being able to bounce back and forth so quickly improved my efficiency tremendously.

While I was at lunch, I got an email from my supervisor, seeing if I could track down a copy of the 1865 NYS Census. She was pretty sure that our library wouldn’t have it, but she gave me some locations to check out in there anyway. I managed to find a negative copy of an aggregate summary of the Census on Microfiche, which was, for the second day in a row, a worthwhile learning experience in library/research science.

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The oldest trick in the book

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A piece of wood!

Unfortunately, an aggregate summary is not what I was looking for, so this was useless. I checked a few books in the Gov Docs section of the library (my first time in that area), and in the process found that one of the books I was looking for had been replaced by a piece of wood! The library staff got a kick out of that, and they’re at this very moment calling in Sherlock Holmes from his current residence at PR 4621 to investigate the crime. Anyway, one of the books was another copy of the aggregate summary, and the other didn’t turn up anything related to the 1865 Census.

So, I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the 1880 Census, and just finished a few minutes ago. All in all, I made about 150-200 corrections, some of which were major. Today was a much easier job for two reasons: 1) I had plenty of practice with the material yesterday and was much more familiar with it today, and 2) The Microfilm images of the 1880 Census are much better quality- clean, clear, and crisp.

Tomorrow will be a day dedicated to my own work, and Friday (the day after), I’ll bury myself in the 1850 Census! Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

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