10 books to help you master topics from computerized genealogy to cultural history.
1. Unpuzzling Your Past, 4th edition, by Emily Anne Croom (Betterway Books). Who can argue with more than 150,000 copies sold? The fourth edition of this best-selling beginner's guidebook is completely updated and revised.
2. Your Guide to the Family History Library by Paula Stuart Warren and James W. Warren (Betterway Books). This comprehensive guide is your key to unlocking the holdings of the world's largest genealogical library. Your Guide to the Family History Library covers not only research at the library in Salt Lake City, Utah, but how to access the collection from where you live.
3. Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree by Tony Burroughs (Fireside). Written by a leading African-American professional genealogist, Black Roots explains everything you need to get started, providing real case studies illustrating the unique challenges faced by African-American researchers.
4. The Complete Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Computer Program by Karen Clifford (Genealogical Publishing Co.). In this manual on using the latest technology to trace your ancestry, Clifford shows you how to use electronic databases, computer programs and Internet sources in your genealogy.
5. The Everything Online Genealogy Book by Pat Richley, aka Dear Myrtle (Adams Media Corporation). Looking for a beginner's guide that walks you through the maze of Internet genealogy sites, plus gives you the basics of genealogical research? This book will help you uncover all sorts of data on your ancestors from the comfort of your home computer.
6. Dictionary of American History From 1763 to the Present (Checkmark Books). This comprehensive reference brings together key people, places and events in American history. More than 1,200 A to Z entries include outlines of military battles and explanations of essential terms.
7. One Memory at a Time: Inspiration and Advice for Writing Your Family Story by D.G. Fulford (Doubleday). "When you give your stories, you are giving yourself," says Fulford. In this succinct guide—also perfect for gift-giving—you'll find plenty of warm inspiration and solid ideas for getting your family history stories on paper.
8. Windows on the Past: Identifying, Dating, and Preserving Photographs by Diane VanSkiver Gagel (Heritage Books). Besides showing you how to care for your precious family photographs, Windows on the Past helps you date photographs through the use of illustrative examples and by analyzing your ancestors' clothing and the photographer's props.
9. This and That Genealogy Tips by Shirley Hornbeck (Clearfield Co.). Whether you're a beginning genealogist or a seasoned one, This and That Genealogy Tips offers something for everyone. Hornbeck shares tips on 42 topics, from the Internet to basics of getting started. It's filled with glossaries and Internet sites, too.
10. Hints on Household Taste: The Classic Handbook of Victorian Interior Decoration by Charles L. Eastlake (Dover Publications). First published in 1868, this reprint will give you a glimpse into the households of your Victorian ancestors. Covering almost all aspects of domestic living in the mid-19th century, this is a wonderful book of cultural history.