Tracing your family history is a continuous learning experience. In order to find our ancestors, we must learn about many record types—why they were kept, what they contain, and where to find them. We learn history, geography, legal, medical and antiquated terms; and possibly even a foreign language or two. We learn about libraries, archives, courthouses, online resources, and anyplace that may house the slightest clue to our ancestry. Fortunately, the information age has been good to family historians. Collections like those in this category bring a huge variety of reference materials to our computer screen.
General reference materials are those such as one would expect to find in a library to assist a genealogist or historian in his research. They include helpful books and articles detailing and defining topics of interest to a particular researcher, such as a guide on using a particular record type.
These materials allow you to learn how to better your research. You can find out more information about a particular record type, people or place which will help you both find records and interpret those you have.