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.

Barry Rating–Part 1:  To Digitize or Not to Digitize

  1. Is the information that the picture, document, or artifact holds unique? Yes/No
  2. How significant is the source and context of the record? Yes/No
  3. How significant are the records for research (current and projected in the future)? Yes/No
  4. Do these documents help in finding other more permanent records? Yes/No
  5. Are these records related to other permanent records? Some records by themselves have limited value but when added to other records become very important to help tell a larger story. Yes/No
  • Barry’s Rule of Thumb:  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, I’ll choose the top 10-20 percent and discard the rest.

The second filter is to categorize images and rank them between 1 to 5 stars. Software image manager permits categorization and ranking of images.

0-4  Star rating system for prioritizing your preservation efforts:

Barry Rating–Part 2:  Rating Images for Later Use

4 Star

  • Rare photographs of a person (no matter the quality).
  • Primary record to prove or highlight religious or civil ordinances of family in the direct line.
  • Best representation of a series of images from important events (e.g., family gathering).
  • Annual one- of-a-kind family or individual photo (e.g., school photo).
  • 3 Star
  • Records that contain important information about a direct family line.
  • For a family history story of ancestors in a direct line.
  • Images that are the best representation of a series of images (e.g., family gathering or sports event).

2 Star

  • Records of collateral lines.
  • Images of artifacts that were of importance from ancestors in direct line (e.g., scan of a watch).
  • Photo-graph images of direct line that are similar to other images in categories 3 or 4.
  • A series of images from published material (e.g., family history book).
  • Images that have been gathered from other individuals and are still waiting to be named and sorted.

1 Star

  • Records or images that support existing records which help tell the story or build a timeline.

0 Star

  • For records that were used once in research.
  • Extra photo shots of an event that are not needed to tell the story but nice to have, or those we are unable to delete.

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