Creating a Genealogy Research Disaster Plan

The following article was written by Bryan Mulcahy, M.L.S., Reference Librarian at the Ft. Myers Regional Library, Ft. Myers, Florida:

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Genealogical research can be one of the most fulfilling experiences in a person’s life. Yet it is also a time consuming endeavor. Disasters are a fact of life. Allstate Insurance Company puts this situation into amusing terms with their “mayhem” commercials. However, disasters, whether they are computer viruses, hard drive crashes, or weather related, are a fact of life. The bottom line is having a plan in place before they happen.

Here are some questions every genealogist should consider:

1. What will happen to your precious mementoes, heirlooms, documents, certificates, pictures, movies, DVD/CD’s, and online information?

2. Will your genealogy research survive a computer hard drive crash, a theft of your whole computer system, a fire, earthquake, landslide, flood, or a nuclear catastrophe?

3. What will happen to your research, online data, personal book collection, etc, after your death?

Here are some guidelines that many professionals recommend:

1. Create an inventory of family documents, mementoes, heirlooms, etc, including their origin, general description and physical location.

2. Keep these items in a climate controlled environment preferably in a dark, dry, cool place, in a fire-proof safe or similar container.

3. All documents, heirlooms, photographs, etc. should be placed in archival quality folders and protective containers as applicable.

4. Scan all original documents and save the digital images on the computer. Make backup photocopies of the original documents and provide them to trusted family members for safe-keeping.

5. Scan family photographs and save the digital images on the computer.

6. Organize, date, and label photographs into family groups, giving them descriptive names if possible.

7. Backup your computer hard drive data regularly in order to protect against a hard drive or system crash. Having an external hard drive with many gigabytes is relatively cheap. Data saved is usually portable to another computer. It is usually easy to copy data from the computer hard drive to the external drive. You can choose which data to backup as in only the most important databases, documents, photos, etc.

8. Backups can be handled on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Most experts seem to recommend monthly updates.

9. Send backup copies to trusted family or friends residing far from your place of residence.

10. Death is inevitable. To ensure that your research survives and is used in a manner that you feel is appropriate, you must prepare a genealogical will codicil specifying your wishes for the disposition of mementos, heirlooms, papers, documents, photos, etc. Specify directives concerning the publication and/or use of your research.

11. If you want your research to go to a research repository make sure this is specified and that you have contacted them prior to your death and verified that they will accept the materials.

12. Most legal experts recommend appointing an heir to handle these details and make sure that you have left them a significant bequest to perform these tasks, or to have it done professionally.

Article Used by Permission.

Producing a Quality Family History — Now in Hardcover

Last year I reviewed Producing a Quality Family History, which I have copied below. This helpful guide is now available in hardcover from Family Roots Publishing. The hardcover looks just like the softcover, with the same four-color printed cover, only laminated and bound as a hardback. If you missed picking up a copy of this book before, now is the perfect time to get help creating your own permanent family record or book.

Original Review:

What does it take to put together a family history worth reading? The short answer is time, money, and effort. However, after all the work you have done in researching, collecting documents, gathering pictures, sorting, and recording genealogies and family stories, putting a family history together should seem like a piece of cake. To help researchers preserve their family histories and make the process as streamlined as possible, Patricia Law Hatcher has written the helpful guide, Producing a Quality Family History.

The obvious follow-up question is, what makes a “quality” family history? As a publisher and book designer, I have developed my own ideas over the years as to what makes a quality book. I have also learned that others have their own idea of what quality means. Hatcher acknowledges personal preferences in choosing how to produce a family history. She recommends researchers start by reviewing family histories at a library. She, also, goes on to suggest there are some basic guideline, or qualities,  which should be followed. The list reads as follows (referring to a quality work):

It presents quality research–research that is thorough, new, and based on a variety of primary sources

  • It is well organized, understandable, and attractively presented
  • It uses a recognized genealogical numbering system
  • It documents each fact and relationship fully
  • It expresses information accurately, indicating the likelihood of conclusions
  • It goes beyond records, placing people in context
  • It included illustrations such as maps, charts, and photographs
  • It has a thoughtful and thorough index

Producing a Quality Family History can help the reader create a manuscript, and final publishing, to meet and exceed these criteria. Not only is content reviewed, but layout and design, font selection, editing, and developing a print ready history are all covered. This book is meant to help you avoid mistakes before you even start writing. However, even if you are almost ready to print your book, this guide can help you feel confident you have produced a quality history, before you go to print.

Patricia Hatcher is a technical writer, instructor and certified genealogists. Having written and edited numerous books and articles, she is well versed in the subject. This guide is easy to follow, and equally easy to implement in your own writing. As Hatcher notes in the book, nonfiction writing is to inform, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be, or even shouldn’t be, interesting. Genealogies reproduce facts, family histories, when properly written, give life to your ancestors. Through this guide, your family history can find the life and quality you always dreamed about.

 

Contents

Publishing Family History in the 1990s

What to Write; When to Write It

You Must Have Style

Writing

Understanding Type and Fonts

Book Design

Page Layout and Formatting

Organizing and Presenting Family Information

How Do You Know?

Turning Paper into People

Illustrations, Charts, and Photographs

Opening the Door to Your Book

Developing an Editorial Eye

Preparing Camera-Ready Art

Turning Camera-Ready Art into Books

Options from Technology

Self-Publishing

Resources

Index

 

Producing a Quality Family History is available from Family Roots Publishing.

 

Hart Island, The Largest Mass Grave Site In the U.S.

The following excerpt is from Gizmodo.com website, 11/07/13

It’s a place where few living New Yorkers have ever set foot, but nearly a million dead ones reside: Hart Island, the United States’ largest mass grave, which has been closed to the public for 35 years. It is difficult to visit and off-limits to photographers. But that may be about to change, as a debate roils over the city’s treatment of the unclaimed dead. Never heard of Hart? You’re not alone—and that’s part of the problem.

Hart-350p

Hart Island is a thin, half-mile long blip of land at the yawning mouth of Long Island Sound, just across the water from City Island in the Bronx. Depending on who you ask, it was named either for its organ-like shape or for the deer (or hart) that thrived here after trekking across the frozen sound in the 18th century. Hart is dense with history; it’s been used as a prison for Confederate soldiers, a workhouse for the poor, a women’s asylum, and a Nike missile base during the Cold War.

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Its most important role has been to serve as what’s known as a potter’s field, a common gravesite for the city’s unknown dead. Some 900,000 New Yorkers (or adopted New Yorkers) are buried here; hauntingly, the majority are interred by prisoners from Riker’s Island who earn 50 cents an hour digging gravesites and stacking simple wooden boxes in groups of 150 adults and 1,000 infants. These inmates—most of them very young, serving out short sentences—are responsible for building the only memorials on Hart Island: Handmade crosses made of twigs and small offerings of fruit and candy left behind when a grave is finished.

Read the full article.

Fire at the Internet Archive’s San Francisco Scanning Center

Internet Archive reading room- ire
Wednesday morning at about 3:30 a.m., a fire got started at the Internet Archive’s San Francisco scanning center. No data was lost, but about $600,000 in high end digitization equipment was destroyed. The scanning building was also badly damaged. According to their blog, no one was hurt. The main building wasn’t affected except for damage to one electrical run. They did lose power to some servers for a while.
Some materials that were being digitized were lost, but they saved about half of the items in their current project because the items were in a separate locked room.

They are looking for monetary donations to help get things back on track.

Read more about the Internet Archive Fire at their blog.

Read another article at abclocal.go.com/kgo.

Vandals Damage Headstones at Canton (New York) Cemetery

CEMETERY DAMAGE - Vandals toppled headstones during the weekend at St. Mary´s Cemetery on Riverside Drive, Canton. (Kimbler-Lago photo)
CEMETERY DAMAGE – Vandals toppled headstones during the weekend at St. Mary´s Cemetery on Riverside Drive, Canton. (Kimbler-Lago photo)

CANTON, NY — Vandals knocked over headstones and did other damage Sunday at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery on Riverside Drive in the town.

St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department deputies said 36 headstones were knocked over or displaced. Flags and flower pots also were broken.

The Rev. Douglas J. Lucia said visitors noticed things were out of place in the cemetery about 1:15 p.m. Sunday and notified him. He then went to the cemetery to see what had happened. After realizing the amount of damage, he reported it to the police.

Read the full article.

or

Another article from a different news agency

How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records

fc01Archiving valuables and keepsakes is a perpetual problem for the family historian. This may be even more true for the family member who is not a “genealogists” or “family historian” but finds themselves the keeper of the family’s history and heirlooms. Important questions arise, such as the following:

  • What should I actually archive?
  • Should I archive actual document and photographs, turn paper into a digital collections, or both?
  • What is the best process for each?
  • What else can I do with all this stuff?
  • How do I organize documents, keepsakes, computer files, and heirlooms?
  • How do I care for heirlooms, such as jewelry, dolls, medals and ribbons, and more?

All of these difficult questions, and more, are addresses in  Denise May Levenick’s new book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn how to preserve family photos, memorabilia, & genealogy records. This new books seems to just about cover it all, while remaining relatively short, concise, yet, informative.

The book is comprised of 16 chapters organized into three sections. The first section helps you organize, prepare, and properly archive all your family’s treasures. Here you will learn to evaluate the value of what you have on hand and determine not only how to preserve these items, but to give consideration to long term storage or even donating items of historical significance.

The second section will help you evaluate and digitize your paper collections, and to manage your computer files. This does not mean you should plan on throwing away mountains of paper. You may be able to toss your own print out, but original documents and photos still have value. Digitizing simply provides a back up to these originals, as well as a means of sharing.

The final section is for the working genealogist or avid family historian. Here the author helps you learn to organize and improve your own files. Looking at area like improved citation, saving time and money, and organizing your software, you can learn to prepare you contributions to the family’s history, so when you pass it on it is ready for the next generation to move forward and not rework it all.

In addition to all the above mentioned information this book contains, I simply like its overall design and layout. The design is clean and simple, but still carries its share of charts, forms, and stand out information boxes to keep the book interesting and easy to follow.

 

Contents

Introduction

Part 1: I Inherited Grandma’s Stuff, Now What?

Chapter 1 Organize Your Objectives

Checkpoint 1: Organize Your Objectives

Chapter 2 Organize Your Plan

Checkpoint 2: Set Your Goals and Timeline

Checkpoint 3: Inventory Your Archive

Checkpoint 4: Order Your Storage Supplies

Chapter 3 Organize Your Assistance From Family Members

Checkpoint 5: Enlist Assistance

Chapter 4 Organize Your Archive

Checkpoint 6: Sort and Organize Your Archive

Checkpoint 7: Catalog Your Archive

Checkpoint 8: Find a Home for Your Archive

Chapter 5 Organize for the Future

Checkpoint 9: Donate Your Family Archive

Checkpoint 10: Plan Your Legacy

Chapter 6 Organize Archival Papers

Chapter 7 Organize Archival Photos

Chapter 8 Organize Artifacts

Part 2: Break the Paper Habit

Chapter 9 Organize and Digitize Your Paper Documents

It’s not practical to eliminate all paper files, but going digital saves storage space and search time. This chapter shows you how to move toward a paperless genealogy office step by step, from scanning to storage.

Chapter 10 Digitize Your Family Archive

Digital copies preserve heirloom originals and give you a working copy for research and creative projects. This chapter presents sample workflows to help you safely create digital copies of archive materials.

Chapter 11 Organize Your Paper Files

Do you feel buried in a mountain of genealogy papers? This chapter offers practical ideas for a personalized filing system to suit your research style and experience.

Chapter 12 Organize Your Computer

Your computer can be a top-notch filing clerk and research assistant with strategies in this chapter for a consistent file-naming system, simple folder structure, and scheduled backup plan.

Part 3: Root Your Research in Strategies for Success

Chapter 13 Organize Your Research

Productive research begins with organized research methods. This chapter outlines effective research strategies with step-by-step ideas, case study examples, and helpful resource checklists.

Chapter 14 Organize Your Source Citations

Without proof, there is no truth. This chapter offers an overview of effective citation styles and helpful checklists for citing your archival materials.

Chapter 15 Organize Your Software Solutions

Technology can advance your genealogy research by saving time and effort. This chapter will help you discover useful services to fit your needs, both web-based and on your computer.

Chapter 16 Organize and Discover Research Connections Online

Social media services, blogs, forums, and List-SERVs can help you find family and break down brick walls. Use the tips in this chapter to expand your genealogy reach.

Conclusion

Index

 

Copies of How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records are available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $24.49.

Producing a Quality Family History

What does it take to put together a family history worth reading? The short answer is time, money, and effort. However, after all the work you have done in researching, collecting documents, gathering pictures, sorting, and recording genealogies and family stories, putting a family history together should seem like a piece of cake. To help researchers preserve their family histories and make the process as streamlined as possible, Patricia Law Hatcher has written the helpful guide, Producing a Quality Family History.

The obvious follow-up question is, what makes a “quality” family history? As a publisher and book designer, I have developed my own ideas over the years as to what makes a quality book. I have also learned that others have their own idea of what quality means. Hatcher acknowledges personal preferences in choosing how to produce a family history. She recommends researchers start by reviewing family histories at a library. She, also, goes on to suggest there are some basic guideline, or qualities,  which should be followed. The list reads as follows (referring to a quality work):

It presents quality research–research that is thorough, new, and based on a variety of primary sources

  • It is well organized, understandable, and attractively presented
  • It uses a recognized genealogical numbering system
  • It documents each fact and relationship fully
  • It expresses information accurately, indicating the likelihood of conclusions
  • It goes beyond records, placing people in context
  • It included illustrations such as maps, charts, and photographs
  • It has a thoughtful and thorough index

Producing a Quality Family History can help the reader create a manuscript, and final publishing, to meet and exceed these criteria. Not only is content reviewed, but layout and design, font selection, editing, and developing a print ready history are all covered. This book is meant to help you avoid mistakes before you even start writing. However, even if you are almost ready to print your book, this guide can help you feel confident you have produced a quality history, before you go to print.

Patricia Hatcher is a technical writer, instructor and certified genealogists. Having written and edited numerous books and articles, she is well versed in the subject. This guide is easy to follow, and equally easy to implement in your own writing. As Hatcher notes in the book, nonfiction writing is to inform, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be, or even shouldn’t be, interesting. Genealogies reproduce facts, family histories, when properly written, give life to your ancestors. Through this guide, your family history can find the life and quality you always dreamed about.

 

Contents

Publishing Family History in the 1990s

What to Write; When to Write It

You Must Have Style

Writing

Understanding Type and Fonts

Book Design

Page Layout and Formatting

Organizing and Presenting Family Information

How Do You Know?

Turning Paper into People

Illustrations, Charts, and Photographs

Opening the Door to Your Book

Developing an Editorial Eye

Preparing Camera-Ready Art

Turning Camera-Ready Art into Books

Options from Technology

Self-Publishing

Resources

Index

 

Producing a Quality Family History is available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $31.31.

Digital Family History Preservation from Gen-Ark

The following story was uncovered at prnewswire.com:

Preserving Your Family History Gets Easier, More Reliable with New Service from Gen-Ark™

Cloud-based, Full-Service Gen-Ark Protects and Maintains the Sentimental Content of Digital Estates and Family Archives

SEATTLE, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Every day, millions of pieces of family history are lost to a natural disaster or just disintegrate as old film, tape, paper photos and documents fail to withstand the test of time. Meanwhile, other memories created with yesterday’s technology might no longer be able to be viewed as computers no longer have Floppy Disk Drives or SCSI ports, and now even displaying popular Flash based content can be a challenge.

This new digital preservation service will help solve both problems – and many other issues you probably wouldn’t have thought of

“Gen-Ark is the first company to truly solve the major issues families face when trying to make sure current and future generations will be able to enjoy their rich family history,” said Peter Schmitt, CEO of Gen-Ark (short for Generational Archiving).

Gen-Ark helps preserve all your digital content as well as any content that can be digitized (Photos, videos, audio, documents, letters, newspapers and paintings). Gen-Ark perpetually cares for all the sentimental content that represents your family history so that it can be enjoyed by current and future family members. Gen-Ark provides a secure, private, long-term online storage and archiving environment to preserve, share and enjoy your family content.

“We are passionate about helping families preserve as much of their history and values as possible because we know how important it is that every child have the opportunity to learn about their family and their family’s values so that they feel connected and supported by their roots as they try to navigate an increasingly complex world,” he said.

“Imagine the joy on your great-great-great grandchildren’s faces as they browse pictures and videos or hear audio files and read documents about you and your life, and that of your parents and grandparents,” he said.

Gen-Ark helps people answer these questions about perpetual family history preservation:

  • How can I preserve family photos, videos and documents?
  • How can I make sure everyone in my family has “controlled” access to the sentimental content that makes up our family’s history and can pass that access on to the next generations?
  • How can I achieve perpetual preservation of family memorabilia and protect against deterioration and disasters (fire, flooding, theft, tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes)?
  • How can I ensure my children will still be able to view files stored in our digital family archive as technology changes over time?

“At Gen-Ark we spend all our time developing solutions that ensure your family’s history will be safe and live on as a legacy,” he said.

“We are the first generation capable of creating and leaving behind a rich digital legacy of family history.  What a shame it would be if all the content your descendants end up having about your family is just publically available (birth, death, marriage and census) records when other families will have so much more,” he said.

Unlike genealogy sites that show basic ancestry information and maybe a photo or two, Gen-Ark helps you leave a rich treasure trove of multi-media content that actually demonstrates how people lived and their (values, talents, accomplishments and challenges), so future generations have a chance to get to know who their ancestors really were as well see important event (birth and marriage) content.

“The elder members of families seem to really enjoy adding stories behind that old sentimental content to the family archive, knowing it will be preserved and enjoyed by all their descendants,” he said.

Unlike some cloud-based services, Gen-Ark users retain ownership of their content. Some services require you to sign away rights to your own files. Most people don’t realize this because they don’t read user licenses. Other services provide no means to pass on access to files after the client dies, which could mean no one in the family will be able to access the content.

Unlike free social networking sites, which have a history of going out of business or only hosting low-quality (resolution) versions of content, Gen-Ark users are assured of accessing original and online accessible versions of data far into the future since they can adapt file formats as technology standards change. You can even use the content you put in Gen-Ark’s online archiving platform to re-feed social networking platforms as they upgrade and support higher resolutions.To help protect data and preserve memories, online content is maintained and protected in professionally managed, highly secure, geographically dispersed data centers which can be moved if needed in the future.

To help protect data and preserve memories, online content is maintained and protected in professionally managed, highly secure, geographically dispersed data centers which can be moved if needed in the future.

Persons who take pride in creating their family histories can contact Gen-Ark  for:

  • Free consultation with a preservation specialist regarding your family history preservation needs.
  • Download free “Getting Started Preserving your Family History” E-Book.

Become a Gen-Ark Member now and get instant access to:

  • Free e-book download: How to Start Preserving Your Family History.
  • Periodic newsletters with tips on preserving family history.
  • Discounts and offers for key services to help preserve your family history.
  • Free consultation on your family’s digital preservation needs.

Gen-Ark customers can:

  • Select a permanent vanity URL that will be the same for all generations.
  • Find memories easily with fully indexed and searchable documents
  • Create and share PDFs of anything and view them with the cool flip book feature
  • Rate content so others family members can see the most popular items
  • Associate an audio file of your grandmother telling the story behind a sentimental photo, priceless
  • The funds you pay for our service (minus a small setup fee) are put in a professionally managed trust from one of the oldest and most trusted trust banks to ensure adequate funds are available to perpetually care for the content that makes up your family history.

For more information or a free consultation go to http://gen-ark.com.

SOURCE Gen-Ark

Writing the Family Narrative

Eventually, most genealogist come to realize that years of collected data, records, diaries, pictures, heirlooms, and more cannot endlessly pile up in boxes and still serve living or future generations. Organizing and sharing volumes of data in a practical and digestible manner becomes a problem. The solution for many is the publishing of a family history book. However, putting a book together can seem like an overwhelming task. With help, some of the fear around writing and compiling a book can be alleviated. The most common type of family history book is a narrative. Writing a Family Narrative was created to help genealogist bring their experience and research together with the necessary help to produce that family history book. Learn from author, Lawrence P. Goudrup, “how to compose a controlled and focused rendition of your family’s story.”

This book was written specifically for the genealogist and those hoping to write about themselves or their own family’s history. Though not spelled out in the table of contents or on the cover, here is what the reader can expect to learn from reading this book:

  • Planning: writing a family narrative requires careful preparation to avoid being tedious or unappealing
  • Scope: avoid beginner pitfalls like trying to tell the complete story, when focus on specific issues, people, or periods is better
  • Focus: commitment to the specific theme and selecting only those facts from one’s genealogical data that contribute to the narrative in a positive way
  • Evaluation: deciding what is truth and what it not, and what truth to include in order to properly tell the story
  • Avoiding Fiction: avoiding tendency to “put words in their mouths;” avoid adding opinions, ideas, or details to embellish a story but lack truth
  • Immersion: put at least the same effort into organizing facts and into the writing process that went into the original research. “Leave no leaf unturned,” “leave no lead unfollowed.”

Writing a Family Narrative helps the reader examine aspects of family information to determine relevancy and the relevant details necessary to construct a story without undue embellishments. For example, sections include “How did the family earn its money and how did it spend it?” and “What did the family consider important or valuable?” The book also focuses on important writing techniques such as characterization, plot conflict, and point of view.

Each section provides clear instructions and is filled with examples. The book is easy to read and the examples help take the reader step-by-step through the literary process.

 

Contents

Preface

Chapter One What is Family History?

Chapter Two Using Genealogical and Local History Records to Write the Historical Exposition

Chapter Three Writing the Narrative

Chapter Four Point of View

Chapter Five Some Finishing Touches

 

Writing a Family Narrative is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: TP274, Price: $12.69.

 

Answering the Popular Question: How to Preserve Your Family Photographs

Over the years, as I operated a publishing business and spoke at genealogy events, I have been asked time and again questions about archiving and preservation. In particular, I found researchers are concerned about preserving their family photos. Family photos are priceless as both personal memories and often as the only visual connection one may have with their ancestors. Pictures help bring those ancestors to life. Well, in answer to those who have asked before, and may be asking now, let me offer a look into Preserving Your Family Photographs: How to Care for Your Family Photographs—from Daguerreotypes to Digital Imaging by Maureen A. Taylor.

Taylor is a recognized expert in historical photography. She is known for her ability to study photographs for the historical clues that tell stories about the people and events portrayed in the images. Maureen has been featured many times in print and has even appeared on The View, Martha Stewart Living, and The Today Show. Taylor is an expert at extracting information from and dating old photographs. Her other titles, More Dating Old Photographs 1840–1929, Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840–1900, and Capturing Memories demonstrate Taylor’s ability to make genealogical use of photos.

Photography is a science. In its 150 plus years the means, methods, and processes used to take, develop, print, and/or produce photographs have been in a state of constant evolution. Which each new method or standard of photography, including digital, historians and genealogist alike continue to ask the same question, “how can I best preserve this photograph to endure for generations?”

In Preserving Your Family Photographs, Taylor provides the information each family historian needs to maintain and preserve their own family’s photographic collection. The back cover makes as clear as I could just what this book has to offer:

  • “Identify the types of damage already done the photos in your collection.
  • Take care of all your photos going forward, so that damage is a thing of the past.
  • Preserve your digital images – for you and future generations.
  • Select a conservator to repair damaged photos and protect them from more deterioration.
  • Select a restoration expert to restore damaged photos using airbrushing, digital manipulation, or photographic enhancements.
  • Create a stunning scrapbook that will endure, using archival quality guidelines.
  • Properly handle cased images such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes.
  • Explore techniques to share your images.
  • Understand the legal aspect of family photography.
  • Take advantage of low-cost alternatives to traditional photo preservation techniques.”

This book is a history book and how-to guide all in one. The volume is full of helpful ideas and straightforward information every genealogist needs to preserve their memories, their photo collection. In reading, the reader will come to know the differences in type of photographic production used over the years; plus, how to identify and preserve each. Even non-genealogist who only wish to keep their own old paper or new digital family photographs will benefit from the information and guidelines set forth by Taylor in this volume. Whether you are a novice or an experienced archivist, you will likely learn something new from this book.

 

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Chapter One: Stories Worth Saving

Chapter Two: The Preservation Facts

Chapter Three: Cased Images

Chapter Four: Photographic Prints

Chapter Five: Photographic Albums

Chapter Six: Negatives

Chapter Seven: Color

Chapter Eight: The Digital Age

Chapter Nine: Duplicating Photos

Chapter Ten: Professional Help: Conservation and Restoration

Chapter Eleven: Sharing and Displaying

Chapter Twelve: Safe Scrapbooking

Glossary

Bibliography

Appendix

Index

 

Start protecting your own family’s photographs with a copy of Preserving Your Family Photographs: How to Care for Your Family Photographs—from Daguerreotypes to Digital Imaging from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: MT02; Price: $24.49.

A Preservation Guide

What is the best option for preserving an old photograph? Store it in acid free packaging in an environmentally controlled room? Scan it and store digital copies on CDs, DVDs, Hard Drives, or other digital device? If saved digitally, how should the digital media be stored? The answers to these questions are not always as simple and straight forward as one might think. To help genealogists answer these questions and safely preserve their family’s history, Barbara Sagraves has written A Preservation Guide: Saving the Past & the Present for the Future, an expert guide for everyone, beginners and practiced hands alike.

Barbara Sagraves is a preservation services librarian at Dartmouth College and has taught preservation at the Rosary College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her expertise is well blended with an easy to read writing style that makes it simple to follow each of the tips, steps, and suggestions in this book. Chapters are easy to follow with added suggestions in the margins, plus pictures and example in both the main body as well as the margins.

Sagraves covers each of the primary media types in this guide; paper, books, photographs, film and video, sound recordings, computer disks, and textiles. For each, coverage includes cleaning, storage, special needs, and more. The final chapter covers disaster recovery. While the book is small, it is also a critical topic of great importance to every historian and family archivist.

Preservation is a key element of successful genealogy. However, it is not the final step. If we wait until our last record has been found and added to our database, if we keep those photographs and old journals stacked in boxes in our house until we our research is complete then those items will never be properly preserved. Each year, each day even, that some item go unprotected means that much irrevocable aging and potential damage. Preservation should be a constant practice in family history keeping. A Preservation Guide is expert advice to help the reader successfully manage their family history preservation.

 

Contents

Foreword

General Guidelines for Storing Materials

Paper

  • Paper Clips and Staples
  • Surface Cleaning
  • Testing for Acid and Deacidifying
  • Encapsulation
  • Photocopying
  • Flattening and Storage

Books

  • Preparing for Storage
  • Deacidifying
  • Photocopying
  • Storage
  • Scrapbooks

Photographs

  • Storage
  • Photo Albums
  • Special Needs
  • Storing Negatives

Motion Picture Film

Videotape

Sound Recordings

  • Phonograph Records
    • Handling
    • Storage
    • Cleaning
  • Audiotapes
    • Storage
    • Cleaning
    • Creating a Backup

Computer Disks

  • Handling

Textiles

  • Cleaning
  • Storage
    • Flat Storage
    • Rolled Storage
    • Hanging Storage

Disaster Recovery

  • Recovery From Water Damage
  • Freezing Books and Paper
  • Audiotape and Videotape Procedures
  • Soot and Ozone Treatments

Choosing A Conservator

Appendix: List of Suppliers

Bibliography

Glossary

 

Start preserving you family’s history with a copy of A Preservation Guide, available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: TP595, Price: $6.81.

Protect Your Precious Documents

Every genealogist has something special worth preserving. From their own research to family photographs, from ancestral diaries to family heirlooms there are countless treasures to be collected and given the best preservation possible. Protect Your Precious Documents was written to help genealogist in the preservation process.

Author Louise St. Denis educates the reader on the dos and don’ts of preservation. St. Denis creates the groundwork of understanding on subject like document and enclosure acidity, document cleaning, photographs and negatives protection, and much more. Learn to properly store different media, protect books, and select the best overall storage options. There is even coverage for heirlooms on fabric, on wood, and on metal.

Louise first gained an interest in genealogy as a hobby in 1984. Since then she has become a true expert, lecturing across the U.S. and Canada in both English and French. She was the founding President of the Société franco-ontarienne d’histoire et de généalogie – Toronto Branch, plus having held other leadership positions in other genealogical related organizations. St. Denis’ passion for collecting and preserving precious records and keepsakes comes through in her book as she seeks to help genealogists everywhere with their preservation skills.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

What Should We Preserve?

Cleaning Procedures

Acid-free

Enclosures

Plastic Enclosures

Boxes, Boxes, & More Boxes

Available Products

Articles We Will Likely Want to Preserve

Worst Enemies of Preservation

Paper Documents

Newsprint

What to Keep, What to Discard?

How Are Your Documents Held Together?

Do Your documents Require Cleaning?

Suggestions When Cleaning Documents

What Level of Acidity Does Your Document Have?

Should Your Deacidify Your Documents?

Does Your Document Have Tears or Rips in It?

How to Store Your Documents?

Photographs & Negatives

Family books: The Family Bible, Diaries & Family History Books

How to Store Your Books

Audio Recordings, Photography Records & Audio Cassettes

Live Action Recordings

Compact Disks

Special Heirlooms on Fabric, on Wood, on Metal

In the End

 

Order Protect Your Precious Documents from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HB05, Price: $7.84.

A Reminder To Preserve Copies of Your Family History

A recent article in the Allied News, from Grove City, Pennsylvania, serves as a key reminder as to why creating and keeping offsite copies of family photos and information is so important.

Family history goes up in flames

FINDLEY — Fire destroyed a 107-year-old farmhouse at 62 Courtney Lane, Findley Township, Wednesday, taking with it generations of cherished family heirlooms.

“There’s a history that went up in smoke,” Pamela Courtney, 67, who lived in the house with her 69-year-old husband, John, said several hours after the fire.

“I really think it’s true that the pictures are the hardest to lose,” Mrs. Courtney said. “The kids are trying to recall stuff of theirs still in the house. They’re taking it hard. I think (Mr. Courtney) is taking it better than I am.”

Click here to read the full article.

 

While there may be little anyone can do to fully protect heirlooms and personal items from destruction in flood, fire, earthquake, tornado, or other natural disasters and accidents, there are things genealogist can do to preserve their precious family photographs and important genealogical data.

Making digital copies is an easy first step with today’s technology. But what to do with those copies. I have long recommended people send both a digital and print copy of their photos and databases to a friend or relative living in another state. Learning basic storage techniques can also help preserve items from smaller incidents. I have know people to work and save 30 years of family history research only to lose it all with no backup. Allow the above article to serve as a reminder, and take time this week to backup your data, save your digital files, and find somewhere outside your own home to store and preserve a second copy.