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Learning from e-family history: online research behaviour and strategies of family historians and implications for local studies collections.

Author: Reid, Peter H.; Pedersen, Sarah; Willliams, Dorothy; Friday, Kate
Publisher: Robert Gordon University Department of Information Management 2012-07-18T10:46:46Z 2012-07-18T10:46:46Z 2012-05
Dissertation: Thesis / Dissertation ETD
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : eBook : English
Summary:
The massive expansion of electronic resources has been identified as one of the major drivers behind the ‘explosion’ in the popularity of family history, which bring ease, convenience and accessibility to some parts of the research process. Amongst this expanse of easily-accessible raw materials, online local studies materials (recording both historical and contemporary aspects of a community) can add real context  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Thesis or dissertation
Doctoral
PhD
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Reid, Peter H.; Pedersen, Sarah; Willliams, Dorothy; Friday, Kate
OCLC Number: 813295707
Language Note: English

Abstract:

The massive expansion of electronic resources has been identified as one of the major drivers behind the ‘explosion’ in the popularity of family history, which bring ease, convenience and accessibility to some parts of the research process. Amongst this expanse of easily-accessible raw materials, online local studies materials (recording both historical and contemporary aspects of a community) can add real context and value to researchers’ findings and experience; turning a genealogy into a family history. However, the vast majority of these do not appear visible to online family history researchers. Through three central foci (users, e-family history resources, and Local Studies Collections), this research investigates these resources and collections from the perspective of users, to establish how to make the added value of the local studies collections more visible and encourage increased engagement for those who cannot visit collections in person. Specific evaluative criteria for e-family history resources are presented, contributing to practitioners’ awareness and understanding of their nature; in turn helping maintain their service quality to researchers. Using a hybrid (primarily ethnographic) research approach, the study also examines the online research behaviour of family historians, identifying a taxonomy of actions (seeking of genealogical facts, local or social history; communicating with other researchers or resources; locating resources or instructive information; managing own information), strategies (search modifications and incorporation of background knowledge) and outcomes (outcome; direction (projected and actual)). From these categories, a model of Family Historians’ online information seeking has been developed. Researchers have both informational and affective needs, and are highly emotionally attached to the research process. Users universally used Ancestry, FamilySearch, ScotlandsPeople, and Genes Reunited far more than other sites, seeking

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Primary Entity

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