Wednesday, 24 November 2010

What does OGS mean by primary?

NOTE: OGS has changed the page so the following posting is no longer applicable. It remains here for purposes of record.

On their front page the Ontario Genealogical Society state that "OGS has been a major source of primary genealogical research material for more than 40 years."

To this amateur family historian, as opposed to certified professional, primary has the connotation of original record, and as far as I know with some very limited exceptions, such as Independent Order of Oddfellows records. OGS holds none of these.

I consulted a credentialed professional genealogist and learned that "Primary information is basically firsthand information, i.e. information from someone who was there. Secondary information is information that has been repeated from one person to another."

Most of the material OGS supplies is transcriptions and falls in the latter category. Removing the word primary, leaving just "genealogical research materials", would convey the value of the information from OGS without overstating the case.  

1 comment:

Mike More said...

Excellent timing, John. The call for nominations for OGS went out today with vacancies at the Secretary and VP Finance positions. As well, half the Regional Directors are elected each year, although our local Region VIII is not due until 2012. Anyone who wants to have a say in how OGS operates is welcome to nominate themselves for a position.