Thursday, March 26, 2015

535. An Open Letter To Governor Pence

Dear Governor Pence, et al:
   I took this photograph yesterday in the Indiana State Library Genealogy Division. Every book you see on every shelf is a family genealogy, written by individuals after many years--and sometimes a lifetime--of research. The main reason most of these volumes are here in the ISL is that they have a record of many Hoosier families.
  I challenge you to send one or two of your many staffers down here to pick out a few of these books, walk over to one of the Internet-linked computers, and try to find any of them in one of your "private collections." 
  I would be willing to bet a Starbucks latte that your people would be lucky to find 1/10 of 1% of this collection online. And that figure would not likely change in our lifetime. These resources are used by tax-paying Hoosier voters on a daily basis at ISL. I know this from many years of researching in the Genealogy Division.
 Whoever is advising your budget wonks needs to dig a little--perhaps a lot--deeper into the reality of the place of genealogy in American life. Every American family line is from somewhere else, and the Indiana State Library Genealogy Division is a significant location for Hoosiers to work on their lineages.
 By the way, where is your family from? And how do you know?

Sincerely,
Ronald L. Darrah
Indianapolis


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