Monday, December 15, 2014

How much Research is enough?

While scanning a number of old North Carolina Wills located in the Office of the Secretary of State, I have observed that most of these records are not listed in the book Abstracts of North Carolina Wills by Olds.  The question then arises, does the researcher need to examine the local county records as well as those kept by the Secretary of State?  It would seem so.  In some instances, typed transcriptions were made and the old dim, barely visible document placed beside it.  Fading ink and crumbling paper is always an issue in preservation.  Actually, it looks like the india ink survives the paper it is written on.  Torn and frayed documents are pasted together in little pieces and microfilmed. There is a good chance that the last will and testament of your ancestor exists, but it is worn away with age.  Although the faded images are more readable on the average computer than a scanning device, we still have a long-suffering need for new technology to bring the ink impression to the surface and restore the "actual" script.  Surely, this day will come!

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