Dear Ancestry Insider,
The state and country research guides have been moved to the FamilySearch wiki. That's a good way to keep them up to date. Unfortunately they've created no way to easily print them. That's a really ill-conceived development. A lot of people like to have printed guides that they can look at when their computers are turned off.
Dear Out of Print,
I thought a bit about your comment last night. For us who live all day in the computer, it is too easy to dismiss your concern. You know our type. If we don’t have at least two gadgets on our selves at all time, we start to fidget and wring our hands.
I remember experiencing your same feelings. I went to college between punch cards and personal computers. All we programmers printed our programs when we left the computer lab early each morning. We poured over those printouts for the hours we were out of the lab. We wrote new code in pencil in the margins and marked up the lines of arcane symbols, only to return to the lab that night, enter the changes and repeat the cycle.
Once I graduated to full-time employment my program printouts exploded in size from a dozen pages to hundreds of pages. I quickly found myself alone by the printer, watching the group’s entire paper budget emerge from the machine. It took quite some time to adjust to the small window my computer screen afforded into a document I previously viewed unfettered.
Unfortunately—well, actually fortunately, man’s accumulation of knowledge is like a gas, expanding to fill the space allotted it. The 40 page research guide of the 90s has now expanded, probably ten times or more. Guides previously restrained to country or state coverage now extend to counties, provinces, and municipalities. Printing out all the pages corresponding to an old paper guide is not only super inconvenient—as you may have found—it is completely impractical.
I have no easy answer for you. If a compelling number of people were willing to pay $20 or $30 bucks for a printed guide of hundreds of pages, a FamilySearch affiliate might try to fill the vacuum.
Short of that, I think you’re going to be stuck with printing your own. You will have to reset your expectations, settling for a much less desirable solution than afforded in the past. Don’t even think about printing all the pages replacing a hardcopy guide. Be choosy. Print only the articles that you need offline, short term.
That’s all I’ve got. Does anyone else have suggestions?
The Ancestry Insider