Genealogy: Where to use your camera for research

Where to use your camera for researcharchBy Barry J. Ewell

The digital camera has been the most flexible and important tool for capturing digital images. As I have sought to learn about my ancestors, I’ve been fortunate to travel to some of the areas where my ancestors lived and have had the opportunity to do on-site research.  These experiences have ranged from half-day excursions to a month long stay.  I used the camera about 90% indoors and 10% outdoors.

Common places indoors

  1. Libraries.
  2. Courthouses.
  3. Museums.
  4. Historical societies.
  5. Homes.
  6. Family reunions.
  7. Other places where documents and pictures are stored.

Types of indoor projects

  1. Text, existing photographs, or other images.
  2. Some will be black and white, some grayscale, and some will be in color.
  3. Some will be in books, some will be unbound.
  4. Some will be old and brittle or so fragile that they are stored and viewed in a room where they won’t let the light of day come in.

Outdoors 10-plus percent

  1. Cemeteries.
  2. Land or buildings where family members once lived, worked, or worshipped.
  3. Many outdoor shots are of historical consequence, but not of genealogical substance.