Thursday, April 23, 2020

Dissect Documents for Clues

Some documents may not contain direct evidence but may, instead, provide clues to other original materials. We must use our critical thinking skills to analyze what is included and what may be implied. Carefully read and re-read the entire document and then dissect the content.
List each piece of information that gives or implies a clue, determine what that clue might be, and list possible source materials that might provide that information. For example, the address of an individual might be determined by using a federal or state census, city directory, telephone directory, tax list, jury list, voter registration roll, and other documents.
Determine for each of these sources where they might be found, such as at a library or archive, in a government office or courthouse, an online database provider, or some other facility. Then determine how to access each source and prepare a research plan. You will be astonished at how much more information can be gleaned from taking time to dissect documents.

If you have documents that are faded, darkened with age, or otherwise illegible, you can use Vivid-Pix RESTORE software to "fix" that in many cases to make scanned document images clearer.

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