Sunday, November 25, 2012

Taking Time To Think

A while back I posted around the question, what kind of genealogist am I? Came to the conclusion that I'm really more of a family history buff. Mom is the traditional genealogist with many years of solid research under her belt. I'm a Johnny-come-lately to this party and still a newbie with lots to learn. So lately I've been taking time to think through what I want to do here. It's like I was thinking I was a puppy and now I think I'm a kitten... if you catch my metaphor:)

So what's my role here? What are my tasks and where's my To Do list? After a couple of weeks - maybe longer - and letting the identity crisis roll on out, it's time to pick myself up, dust off, and figure out what's next for me. I am not wanting for raw material, that's for sure. Mom has well over 70,000 individuals on her tree and a whole bookshelf and a cabinet full of data to back it all up with sources. Additionally, there are maybe a dozen photo albums of all types full of pictures. And then there's that closet in the office;) Not to mention Aunt Betty's material and all of her wonderful photos!

Having just gone through the process of putting Mom's Big Tree on, then attaching photos and documents to it (a never-ending task with plenty more to be done) I can see the return on effort as extended cousins contact me and we exchange information. So Mom's tree is out there and in fine form... it's taken care of.

So the question I'm pondering is what should I do with the resource material in Mom's files to make them as usable and approachable as possible? I'm thinking of the next generation here. It needs to be in a format that's engaging as well as factually accurate as possible (and sources too.) What does that look like?

Was pondering all of this and taking my good old time arriving at conclusions when up popped an article in the latest issue of American Ancestors, Fall 2012. On page 28 is an interesting review of the permanence of electronically archived material entitled "Personal Archiving and the Genealogist", by Susan Lukesh. Here's my dilemma and exactly what the article covers: how long is all of this electronic media going to last? And who is going to upgrade formats when the old is obsolete... after I've checked out of this big blue marble hotel? And what physical form should this material take and where should it reside?

Am now thinking that if I can get an end product in mind, one electronic and one in physical form, then I have a goal that I can more easily visualize then I know where I'm going. But until then this whole effort is best served by me sitting in a cozy chair thinking about where I'm going. And, I gotta tell you, that's hard for me because I'd rather be doing that sitting.

Today's photo from the Archive:

Cousin Mike Kelly and I, 1950s.
Get well, buddy!

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