Saturday I attended “MGS Day at MSA”. Maryland Genealogical Society members were invited to register for a session on accessing records at the Maryland State Archives and taking a behind the scenes tour of the library.
Although I have done research at MSA many times, I still decided to register. The fee was nominal and you never know when you can pick up some new tips. I also had a few general questions about some records and hoped for an opportunity to get those questions answered.
Michael McCormick, the Director of Reference Services for MSA (I hope I got that right) led the session. Time was short (an hour) but I managed to get my questions answered and pick up a few hints about specific record series. Yay!
Then it came time for the tour. It is hard to visualize the amount of records the Archives houses while you are searching the website, or even when you are there requesting records to be pulled. You fill out your pull slip and the staff goes back to that mysterious room in the back and comes out with a book, a box, etc. for you. Saturday I got a peek at that mysterious room. Rows and rows of shelves of materials, it was awesome! Especially when we were told that the room we were in was one of four floors of records with even more stored off-site at another facility.
I still have lots of ancestors to find in all those stacks!!
We also got a look at the areas where digitization and conservation takes place. Very interesting but sad as well to see types of destruction that has happened to some of the records.
|Insect damage to a Colonial Patent book|
After the tour I had some lunch and then did a little research. I had done my pre-visit research and had a list of records to take a look at. Although I didn’t get through everything I had on my list I got copies of several items on my list.