I have found audio taping or video taping my extended family’s stories helps keep my facts straight, before I transcribe it. Not only does it allow me to refer back, but they often go into far more detail than asking them to write their experiences. I can also ask others to listen to the original story and then ask if that is the way they remember it.
Digital Cameras Preserve Album Arrangement
In the 28 July 2008 issue of the Ancestry Weekly Journal, Maureen Taylor, in her article “Saving the Stories in the Family Albums,” suggested that the photos be removed first from the album and scanned, noting the position and information on the back.
I had a similar problem a number of years ago, before the advent of digital cameras. I photographed each page, using film, put them in sheet protectors, and assembled them in a three-ring binder. All the information found on the back of each photo was typed on a separate sheet of paper. I mounted the photos, with the typed information, in separate acid-free sheet protectors.
Now with digital cameras you can drop your photos into Photoshop or another photo-editor and print the page. You can also photocopy the back of the photos later, but I still like having a separate printed sheet of the info found and any notes I may want to make such as photographer, approximate date, location, name(s) of subject(s), etc.
Later, when you remove the photos for scanning, photocopying, or restoration, you will have an photo index of the album which will make reassembling the album error free.
Save Those Christmas Letters
I know many avoid reading the letters that come with Christmas cards, but consider this–these letters contain a lot of information for family historians. I have begun to keep all the Christmas letters I receive family members. In addition, I’ve started writing a one-page letter that highlights our family’s year, and I type my mother’s for her. I keep both of these each year on my computer. This has become an easy way to keep track of those major and not-so-major events over the years. So even if you don’t want to send one out, consider writing one for yourself and keep it with your immediate family’s genealogical information. Your descendents may enjoy reading details about your family’s life in the years to come. And don’t forget to save those from your family or those that mention your family.
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