Until the 1990s, archivists gave very little attention to studying their user population. None of the user studies that have been conducted in the last decade have focused solely on genealogists, one of the most frequent users of archives. This paper gives the results of a study involving in-depth interviews with ten genealogists. The findings provide information on the stages of genealogical research, how genealogists search for information, the access tools they use, the knowledge required, and the barriers they face. The findings of this study can be used to improve the design of archival information systems that will facilitate access for this important group of users.

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