Saturday, April 2, 2011


Today was NERGC Packing Day – Part One.

As some of you know, next week is the New England Regional Genealogical Conference, and, in addition to yours truly doing two new lectures, we’re also exhibiting in the Exhibit Hall, wearing our “Jonathan Sheppard Books” hats.

Okay, no actual hats, but you get the idea.

We have a pretty large space (four booths) and we plan on bringing lots of hard-to-find, out-of-print titles as well as a select assortment of in-print items, too.  There will also be one-of-a-kind 19th century original manuscripts. There will be original documents.  There will be maps.  There will be… whatever I decide to pack at the last minute.

We’re concentrating on items that relate to the six New England states, plus New York State and Canada, along with some Irish, English and Scottish titles, social history, genealogy, reference material and ethnic history.  Some of the titles are pretty obscure, but then, I like to introduce genealogists to things that may not usually appear on their research radar. 

For example, if you’re doing any Civil War related research and are not yet familiar with Drew Gilpin Faust’s recent “Republic of Suffering”, you’re missing a lot.  Dr. Faust is a top-notch historian, writes a mean, well-documented book (this one’s about caring for the CW dead), and in her spare time is President of Harvard.  We’ll have copies. Need the one-volume edition of Seymour Dunbar’s 1915 classic the “History of Travel in America” (probably the best study of how our ancestors traveled from Point A to Point B)?  We’ll have that, too.

I could go on and on about the stuff we're bringing, but you're much better off coming to look it over yourself.

We’ll also have lots of original-edition 19th and early century local histories and genealogies.  Many of these will be the original first editions, more than a century old, with real steel engraved illustrations, printed on real paper with honest-to-God metal type that is pressed into the paper so that you can feel the words when you run your fingers across the page.  Do I make myself clear?  Think original antiques.  These books are to “reprints” as the original DaVinci “Mona Lisa” in the Louvre is to a magazine illustration of the same painting.  Or as an original antique chair is to a chain store reproduction.

If you’re coming to NERGC, plan on allowing plenty of time to browse our booth(s); my guess is that we’ll have well in excess of a thousand or so titles on display before we’re done packing.

And, as a special thank-you to our loyal customers over the past 34 years, we’ve discounted a large number of our out-of-print titles, just for NERGC attendees.  Not everything, mind you, but still, a very significant number.  Look for the special orange discount cards.

It’s always hard breaking the news to the books that don’t get to go to NERGC.  Those poor books have to stay home and sit on the shelves, waiting to be adopted by other means.  Pennsylvania? Nope.  Ohio?  Sorry, guys.  Virginia?  Not this time!   It’s NERGC, so it’s mostly New England.

Plus, these stay-at-home books are suffering since everybody seems fascinated with e-books and digital stuff.

Don’t worry, I tell them, the really serious types know that digitized titles are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.  There’s lots more stuff that is essential to research that exists only in paper-ink-glue format.  You’ll get your turn to find a new home soon!

Oh, yeah. The Jonathan Sheppard Books NERGC door prize. 

This year, we’re offering an original, one-of-a-kind, artisan-designed lap quilt.  Come check it out!

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