The Researcher’s Digital Toolbox

The technology of research has sure changed since those analog days of the index card, pencil and library card file. Today there are a growing number of digital archives along with amazing search engines that can find and deliver a name buried deep inside a collection physically located thousands of miles away. Even when working with paper archives, digital tools offer many types of support. Digital cameras – or even camera phones – make it easy to create your own copy of the original records you find. There are also digital tools to help you organize and store your notes and collected ephemera for easy retrieval.

The Research Toolbox

The researcher’s digital toolbox is a collection of tech tools that will support your genealogical research efforts. These are general-purpose tools that will help you find, collect and organize information about your family history. I won’t presume to tell you how to research. You will need to look at the tools presented here and determine if and how they can fit into your workflow.

  • Research 101: Computer
    We spend a lot of time and effort learning to use the databases, search engines and genealogy programs that support our research. What about the computer that makes it all possible? Are you taking advantage of the tools it provides?
  • Research 101: Email
    Email is an necessary tool for research – and everyday life, but how much do you know about your email service and the apps you use to access it? Here’s a basic overview to get you started.
  • Research 101: Web Browsers
    Although there would be little online research without the web browser, few people appreciate its importance. Not only does the right browser improve your online experience, some can be customized to provide awesome research support tools.
  • Research Delivered: An Introduction to the Newsreader
    One of the most useful tools a researcher has is the news reader. It is an extremely efficient way to keep up with a large number of information sources. With a good news reader and a little effort, you can set yourself up to have a surprising amount of research delivered right to your desktop.