George R. Ryskamp. “Basic Concepts of Archival Research: Lessons Learned in Southern European Archives,” Genealogical Journal, An International Publication 26(September 1998):70-85. Unpub. vers: Research in Southern European Archives.
The purpose of this article is to familiarize the readers with archives and archival research. It begins with a definition of an archive and how the records are stored (bundles, boxes, and books of documents). The jurisdiction is discussed as well as why records were created. Just as records were created by a specific jurisdiction, so are the archives. Ryskamp defines the different jurisdictions within ecclesiastical records, focusing on those generated by the Catholic church, as well as governmental archives.
Most archives provide reference works to aide records access once inside the record. Inventories, indexes, and catalogs are discussed, as well as major websites that are useful in accessing guides in preparation for a research trip.
This article is a great way for a genealogist to familiarize themselves with archives across the world and gain a specific look at the types of archives available in Southern Europe, where they may be able to access records on their family.