Saturday, April 22, 2006

Genealogy Can Be Nauseating

Judith Argent, a library tech at British Columbia's Cloverdale Library, has seen the toll that genealogical research can take—especially the hours spent staring at microfilm.

It’s time-consuming, and physically grueling. Fatigue and nausea are common after staring at moving images for hours.

“We joke at (researchers) saying, if they’re looking at ship passenger records they’re getting seasick." [Link]
Microfilm nausea is a well-documented ailment, and one that will remain with us until the last roll is digitized, and the last bulb burns out. Here are some ways to keep your lunch in its proper place:

  • Take Dramamine, but first ask your doctor if a microfilm reader qualifies as "heavy machinery."
  • Wear a wrist band like those sold by Sea-Band. Requires no drugs, so you can be sure it won't work.
  • Stick a Transderm Scop patch behind your ear (sorry, I cannot legally write prescriptions).
  • Close your eyes while advancing the film. I sometimes take a short nap between pages.
  • Stop playing that game where you drink a shot of whiskey every time you find your surname misspelled.

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