Frustration in the National Archives

Often, after I have ordered copies of wills form the National Archives (Dublin), by mail, I have had to phone up to get any action to be taken (or not on occasion) in sending these to me. When I told this recently, to an experienced Australian genealogist, she said she had had to phone up too and they had told her that what she had requested must have got lost in the post but they would make an exception and resend it. We wonder! Today, I was again in the National Archives and when I found an index card (an old fashioned one) with a reference to the surname I was researching, I asked for help. The man on the desk had to seek help from someone else. It was decided that the reference should be located on a reel of microfilm but the man on the desk couldn’t find the appropriate one listed on his list of available microfilm so he told me to go to the Microfilm Room and ask there. The man on duty in the Microfilm Room also tried to be helpful but he had the same list as the man who had sent me in. After some deliberation, it was suggested that I take a certain reel of microfilm. I did and went to look for a microfilm reader. I fumbled with one and since I could not see the words on the microfilm clearly, moved to another machine (broken, I was told by a researcher sitting at the next reader). Eventually I sought help. I wandered around and saw someone on duty helping another researcher so I asked him for help. He loaded the microfilm on a microfilm reader but it was not clear so he tried another and managed to get the film in view, allbeit faint. I sat down, scrolled through the reel realizing that it was only an alphabetical index and did not even go up to the first letter of the surname I was interested in. I decided to leave the Archives without wasting any more time and vowed not to go back again.

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