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    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    God Bless Mississippi...

    Robert and I visited the Mississippi Archives today. Upon our arrival we had to go through the usual check in process. When asked for my photo id ... after several minutes rummaging through my purse and a few eye rolls from Robert I realized I left my drivers license at home in Florida. I was told "No Photo ID, No Research." I pulled out every card I had on me, Social Security, Insurance, Voters Registration, etc. trying to convenience them I was just a avid genealogist and not a terrorist. After a while they gave in and agreed to issue me a research card. Once you complete the "Research Card Application" and agree to the "Rules of the Room", (i.e. no pens, highlighters, bags, purses, cameras, scanners, personal books and papers, envelopes, etc.) you are issued a card. Our laptops and cords, 2 writing tablets were all they would allow in the room. You were issued a pencil! I thought I had entered the military! Needless to say we placed everything else in several lockers. After swiping our "new" research cards we were finally allowed to enter the "Research Room". We were greeted at the desk and asked to sign in.

    After he gave our computers, cords and note paper a look he then began explaining the library's processes and location of materials. I was impressed with their system your research card is used for making copies. You simply preload your card and swipe it at the copy machine. After hearing about all the different technologies, I was getting excited and of course had to ask, "Do you have wireless Internet access?" I was told, "No ma'am." What a let down. After taking a deep breath, I then ask, "Do you have Internet access on the computers here in the Research Room?" He responded, "No ma'am". I'm thinking what a crock! Why have all this technology and not have an Internet connection! It did not make sense. I think I even made a similar comment to the nice gentlemen behind the counter. His response was something to the effect, "We are assuming you have done your Internet research before you arrive and that is why you are here." I don't think he was being a smart a** but it sure did sound that way. Now at this point I was ready to turn around a walk out the door. Robert conveniences me to hang around. If I didn't love this man so much...

    Robert stayed in the library section looking at books and I headed to the microfilm room. By lunch I had printed several Confederate Service records and Pension applications. After lunch I discovered they have Death Certificates from 1912-1943 which may be printed for a meager .20 cents each! On microfilm I found marriage, tax and court records and newspapers, etc. Needless to say they have a tons of stuff! At the end of the day while waiting for Robert to finish his copies I decided I would look to see if there was any Ramsey or Wester info in the family genealogy section of the library. What did I find? Of course not my Ramsey's but a 200 page book on Ray's (one of Robert's lines)! After a short debate, we decided to return tomorrow. And yes Robert is copying the entire book!

    After such a successful day...I realized the "nice gentleman behind the counter was right". I do need to stay off the computer and look at what resources are available elsewhere. I am missing valuable info. Can't wait to share the rest of the story...

    Until later..

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