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It is not generally recognized, but Washington, D.C. is home to the largest body of accessible research materials in the world, larger even than the vast body of materials at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It is the central repository of the nation's primary source records and the very center of genealogical activity.
The aim of this book is to identify those resources in the Washington, D.C. area that will aid family historians in tracing their ancestors (the National Archives, Library of Congress, the DAR Library, the National Genealogical Society, and many more). While it is based on the original idea of the popular guidebook, Lest We Forget (originally published in 1965), The Center is actually an all-new work which completely revises and updates its predecessor. Under each facility listed there is a survey of key record holdings, with a description of the records, a summary of their contents, an explanation of their organization, and directions for their use. There is also a list of published indexes and finding aids, key addresses for mail requests, publications, phone numbers and hours of business, and an itemization of those materials available through the Family History Library system.
"This popular guidebook has succeeded in leading the researcher through a bewildering maze of agencies, departments and archives in the Washington, D.C. area."--NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY, Vol. 24, No. 1, p. 52.
"...it is certainly a unique and valuable resource for genealogical research in the D.C. area."--ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL GENEALOGISTS QUARTERLY, Vol. XII, No. 4, pp. 141-142.
"The Center's many words to the wise will enable researchers to streamline their research plans and maximize the results of their research experience in Washington.--NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY, Vol. 85, No. 1, pp. 73-74.
"This book will be of immense value to anyone considering a first-time trip to our nation's capital to do research, but even the most experienced genealogist will find new places to look after reading its pages."--FEDERATION OF GENEALOGICAL SOCIETIES FORUM, Vol. 8, No. 4, p. 31.
"...the information is superb, guiding the user through various departments, services, and research tools, as well as providing helpful hints on various aspects of research...The book's recency, ease of use, and useful data on the larger institutions make it well worth the price, which is quite reasonable. It is recommended for individuals and libraries of all types and sizes with an interest in genealogy."--AMERICAN REFERENCE BOOK ANNUAL, Vol. 28 (1996), p. 166.
"This guide is comprehensive and clearly written. Given the enormous number of genealogical resources in Washington and their nationwide scope, every genealogist and genealogical library may want to have a copy of this guide at hand."--THE NEW YORK GENEALOGICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD, Vol. 127, No. 4, p. 248.