Tag Archives: digital

The attics of future generations

29 Aug

I was idly browsing the BBC News website yesterday and happened upon an article about social networking entitled Status update: Who cares? I have to say that the title pretty much sums up my attitude towards much social networking.

The final part of the article concerns what we are leaving behind for future historians (and genealogists). It raises the issues of whether digital data will survive as long as paper, and whether we are leaving behind an edited version of our lives for future researchers. However, it wasn’t the article itself which I wanted to share with you, but one of the comments.

The comment in question is from someone calling themselves Binx from London, and I think it is a wonderful analogy for the digital generation:

All sorts of material (flattering and unflattering) leave traces on various disks, hard drives, web sites, etc. These are the attics future generations will find our unguarded moments in. I am sure what’s worth remembering will be remembered and the rest will be dear only to a close circle of friends.

All that is missing are the words “and genealogists” at the end.

Organising my paper files: What I want to achieve

12 Aug

At the end of the organising process I would like to have achieved the following goals:

  1. To have only three folders of paper. One containing original family documents* (arranged alphabetically by surname with dividers). The second folder should contain just general research material and a third to hold documents relating to current research projects in separate pockets/wallets.
  2. All the original family documents, whether they are in the family documents folder or the current research folder, should be scanned so that I have digital copies as a backup (see my post on reviewing my backup strategy), and all the data from them should have been extracted where possible and added to my Family Historian database.

*These are modern documents such as copies of birth, marriage and death certificates and copies of wills. Things that could be replaced, but would cause additional expense and inconvenience if I had to do so. This doesn’t include historical documents or old photos, that need proper storage in archival boxes, those will be addressed separately.

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