Genealogical research has dramatically changed over the past decade. The only ways we used to be able to view or obtain copies of original documents or books was to personally visit to courthouses, archives, libraries, and other venues or to write letters. Mail turnaround time varied from weeks or months and our research languished as we waited for replies.
Technology has altered both our genealogy research model and our expectations. Electronic access to distant locations and email communications with other researchers have accelerated the research process. While we still must write letters and emails to order many materials, we can now order many items online. And digital imaging and electronic indexing have brought an enormous quantity of original documents, manuscripts, photographs, books, newspapers, sound, and video to our desktops. The volume increases every day. We can collaborate instantly with other researchers around the globe as never before. It is often a struggle just to keep up with the volume of resource materials that inundate us every day. This research paradigm shift has changed the formats and access methods for many materials. With these changes, we must also adjust our own research processes.
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