West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Division of Culture and History Lecture to Feature Lessons Learned about Genealogical and Historical Research


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Dr. Charles Ledbetter will present “Lessons Learned by a Lay Person about the Joys and Frustrations of Genealogical/Historical Research” on Thursday, April 12, in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The 6 p.m. program is free and open to the public.

Ledbetter will relate some of the pitfalls he has found in researching the history of individuals and organizations and will share the lessons he has learned from that research. He will discuss online genealogy programs; working with librarians and archivists; using census data and official documents; conducting interviews; translating the language of the past; and interpreting myths and stereotypes. He also will reveal specific examples of lessons learned in his research of African Americans and Native Americans.

Born in Muskogee, Okla., Ledbetter is the vice chair of the Archives and History Commission for the state of West Virginia. He holds an undergraduate degree from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.; a master’s degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco; and a Ph.D. from Kent State University in Ohio. After retiring as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army, he spent almost 30 years at West Virginia State University, retiring as professor emeritus in education.

Ledbetter is the author of three books and a number of articles including his award-winning two volume Alliance Against the Odds: The Manual Training High School Story; From Segregation to Desegregation: A Major Flaw in Implementing The Brown Decision; and Tuskegee Airmen and the West Virginia State College Aviation Program Connection.

For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the program, but advance registration is not required to attend. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, by e-mail at bobby.l.taylor@wv.gov or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163.

Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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