Students, scholars, genealogists, museum docents, and historical society volunteers who seek to investigate the multiplicity of voluntary organizations in America's history will gain considerable guidance from this path-breaking volume. Here are the practical steps, by a seasoned historian, to locate
club records, ask appropriate questions of them and make sense of the story from the perspective of the individual members, the community in which the association operates, and the broad historical themes of the past. Fifty book lists steer researchers to classic and recent publications on every type of society, the mainstream as well as the extreme.
"Joining In instructs and informs as to how to locate and use an association's historical records. It skillfully guides readers in organizing and sorting through the raw material of club records and includes helpful instructions on collecting oral histories of club members." -- Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Volume 98 Number 3, Summer 2007
"Having established the breadth and importance of voluntary organizations, Blair lends expertise from her extensive background in finding and using various types of historical sources…Throughout this book, Karen Blair's experience is supportive as the voice of a coach to the local historian. She gives encouragement and purpose to study a significant, but often ignored, institution in American history." -- Thomas D. Mackie, History News, Summer 2007
"Joining In is a
valuable general guide that should help researchers locate secondary sources, place their work in a broader historical context, and better organize their primary research. Abundant photographs and illustrations throughout the book will give researchers a good idea of the sources they can expect to find, as well as for ideas where to look for information. Overall, Joining In successfully provides practical, professional advice to a broad audience, and is a valuable guide for anyone studying
the histories of communities, organizations, or prominent figures." -- Jenny Barker-Devine, The Annals of Iowa, 66, Number 1, Winter 2007