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MARVELous Blog The Final Chapter (Plus Week 8)

The week of Thanksgiving I was given a choice of blogging or not blogging.  At the time, not blogging seemed to work better for me, but now I plan to do the week 8 blog about Ancestry Library Edition and the final few questions of the blog exercise – Blog 11.
Ancestry Library Edition looks very similar to the paid for version of Ancestry.com.  This is a site that I am rather familiar with, so I may jump around a bit more than I have when learning the other databases.  Please accept my apologies up front on this!  Ancestry Library Edition is available free of charge to Maine library users, but you must be in the library to access the site.
The home page of Ancestry Library Edition looks pretty straight forward – a place to search for an individual using first, middle and last name as well as where a person may have lived and their estimated birth year.  You are also given links to several census collections as well as other pertinent collection databases.
The first piece of this exercise is to look up my own name.  I do this, first just my name – 781,379 results.  I add Maine as a place I have lived and narrow my search to 588,906 individuals.  I add my birth year and narrow the results further to 215,247.  By adding my middle initial I am again up to 249,256 results.  Scanning the page results, I pick myself out on the first page (I DO know who I am!).  The U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1shows several places that I have lived – interesting.  I narrow my search by clicking one Birth, Marriage & Death.  
The second piece of this exercise is to search for a grandparent in the U.S. Census.  I type in my grandfather’s name, year of birth, and Maine – 51,342 results.  I Narrow by Category using Census & Voter Lists.  My results are now 5,475.  I find my grandparents listed on the first page – 1940 and 1930 United Sates Federal Census.  I find my grandfather in the 1910 United States Federal Census.  I click View Image for the 1910 census.  A window pops up letting me know how to move around the census page.  This is a nice, helpful thing for new users to this site.  The image of the census is extremely small, but with the help of both the Zoom and Magnify buttons I am able to move around the page and find my grandfather, his parents and siblings listed in the 1910 census.  On this page there is a listing for the Source Citation, Source Information and Source Description– all of these are very important and helpful to anyone doing a family history search.  
The last piece of this exercise is to look at Photos and Maps for photos of Maine.  This isn’t quite as intuitive as it could have been.  From the home page, I click on the Search tab; this brings me to a new page, filled with a variety of Special Collections which include Photos and Maps.  After clicking on Pictures I do a keyword search for Maine. 1,190,449 results – YIKES!  I take a few minutes and scroll through some of these images – yearbook images, Library of Congress photo collections, baseball players, passenger ship images, and many more that I will explore another day.
The final post – Number 11 – wonders what my biggest discovery was?  I think the biggest discovery was how little I know about what is available through the MARVEL databases!  I am in awe of how much is available for anyone with a valid Maine library card!  We are incredibly lucky to have this resource.
I don’t know about my fellow bloggers, but I have been using the databases that we have explored more than I expected.  It has been interesting to notice that I have used whichever experience I have blogged about within a few days of my research.  I am so glad I took part in this exercise, and I intend to continue with my research, so stay tuned!