Beginning Irish Research by Nancy Ellen Carlberg. Published by Carlberg Press, 1782 Beacon Avenue, Anaheim CA 92804-4515. 1996. 404 pp. Charts, index, maps. Plastic-Comb Binding. $25.

There is no introduction to this book stating what the author's approach or purpose is in writing it. This is not a sequentially organized how-to-book for beginners, but rather a collection of miscellaneous notes and topics. For example, there are 83 pages of material for "Notes for Other Countries" covering research in everything from Australia, Barbados, England, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and others.

For me, the best part of the book was pages 199 to 286 with an alphabetical listing of topics concerned with Irish research. However, to get the most out of this section you need to know what you are looking for. Buried in this alphabetized section, and other parts of the book, are some real gems of sources you can use in your research. Some, but not all of these sources are available at the local FHC. The detailed index is what saves this book. It assists the reader in finding specific materials.

Parts of the book are designed for absolute beginners with explanations of how to get started in research and the inclusion of standard pedigree and ancestral charts for users to copy. There are some practical research tools included such as research log, Irish census extraction forms, and quick search summary forms. The forms are scattered throughout the book and repeated in the appendix, adding to the bulk of the book.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.4 no.6, 1997