Genealogy: Emergency rescue for critical data

Genealogy: Emergency rescue for critical dataA lapse in planning or circumstances beyond one’s control can lead to emergency rescue of critical data. Anything from budget woes to bad luck can provide the trigger. Companies exist that specialize in salvaging data from badly damaged media (when no backup exists) and reading data from obsolete storage technology. These services can often be quite expensive, but can also be a lifesaver. A Web search for “data recovery” should produce a plethora of links to these specialized companies. 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

Genealogy: File formats and preservation

Genealogy: File formats and preservationFile formats are the KEY to preservation. One of the goals of digital preservation is to prevent a loss of access to files due to file format obsolescence.

If you are using a file format migration strategy for preservation, then you will be refreshing the digital files over time to keep the content stored in formats that are readable by the current technology. Continue reading

Color-coded Genealogy Research Filing System, Part 2: Setting Up the System (Steps 1-4)

10-17-2014 8-09-32 PMBy Barry J. Ewell

There are thirteen steps for setting up the color-coded filing system. The system is time-tested and proven to be the organization resource that will grow with you as you expand your research.

Color-coded Genealogy Research Filing System

This system sets up file folders for the families on your pedigree lines and also shows you how to file information about cousins and other relatives. Pedigree charts and corresponding family group folders are divided into four colors, based on the lines of your four grandparents. Dividing your pedigree by color helps make it clear Continue reading