Genealogy: Two-tier digitizing and archiving evaluation

Genealogy: Two-tier digitizing and archiving evaluationThe first phase is to decide the relevance of digitizing and archiving the subject matter.  If I can answer yes to any one of the questions 1-5, I will certainly digitize.  Overall, I will digitize and archive about 90 percent of records/images. The 10 percent remaining are images that I have a better copy of, or in the case of a child’s activity where I have taken 25-plus images, choosing the top 10-20 percent and discarding the rest. Continue reading

What every genealogist needs to know about digital content and preservation (100+ resources)

Digitizing contentBy Barry J. Ewell

As a genealogist and/or family historian you are ever increasingly faced with the need to better understand how to create, evaluate, manage, organize, and preserve content that include audio, photography, video, film and more. I’ve learned that even the simplest decision like which format to scan an image can have far reaching irreparable consequences if not done correctly. Continue reading

Genealogy: Regularly back up data to digitized archives

Genealogy: Regularly back up data to digitized archivesNow that you are well into digitizing your family history, safe storage and backing up should be your first priority.  The type of files that will be part of your backup plan includes images, email, website files, and notes.  Imagine losing days, weeks, months or even years worth of work. If you haven’t felt the pain of losing files yet, your day is coming. Count on it, you will have a crash and loss of data, it’s just a matter of time.  Some of the important questions you must consider include

  • Where should I keep my files?
  • Who can access and possibly alter them?
  • What happens if there is a fire or flood? Continue reading

Genealogy: Keeping personal digital records

Genealogy: Keeping personal digital recordsYou probably have resumes, school papers, financial spreadsheets, presentation slides or other digital documents. You might also have digital copies of original hard copy documents such as letters, maps or family histories.

Some of this information may have enduring value.

For this type of information it is important to decide which documents to save. Think about different versions, such as drafts and earlier copies. Drafts, for example, can provide important details that do not appear in final versions. Continue reading

Genealogy: Personal websites, blogs and social media

Genealogy: Personal websites, blogs and social mediaIf you have a blog, website, Facebook page or other way to share information on the Internet, you also have a rich source of information that you should think about saving for the future.

For this category you need to start any archiving process by first identifying what you have. You might have multiple places where you share information, and you should give consideration to them all. Continue reading

Genealogy: How long will media last?

Genealogy: How long will media last? The estimates range from 20 on the low end to 200 years for media such as CD/DVDs on the high-end under the ideal conditions.  Given issues surrounding improper storage and varying qualities of manufacturing quality, you may find some of your backup becoming “worthless” in just a few years.  Few, if any, life expectancy reports for these discs have been published by independent laboratories. Continue reading

Genealogy: How to preserve your own digital materials

How to preserve your own digital materialsBy Barry J. Ewell

Our photo albums, letters, home movies and paper documents are a vital link to the past.  Personal information we create today has the same value.  The only difference is that much of it is now digital.

Chances are that you want to keep some digital photos, e-mail, and other files so that you—and your family—can look at them in the future. But preserving digital information is a new concept that most people have little experience with. Continue reading