May 6, 2009

Genealogy Objective 6 – Preserve the Heirlooms

Posted in Genealogy at 8:09 am by hoosierroots

I am nearing the end of turning my list of seven genealogy objectives into actionable goals.

Objective 6:  Collect and preserve the family heirlooms for the generations to come.

As the acknowledged family historian on both sides of my family, I have been fortunate to receive a closet full of old family photos. These photos stretch back to the late 1800’s with significant collections for every decade since. Some are labeled, some are not. While I will likely never identify every photo, I know more about many of the pictures than will my children or their children. In addition to photographs I have a smattering of old letters and documents, including my great-great-grandfather’s Civil War discharge papers. There are also a few audio tapes, movie reels, and even the now almost-antique VHS tapes.

If these items are to survive to continue to tell the story of our past they need to be labeled, digitized, preserved, and distributed. It makes me shudder to think what a loss it would be if our house were to burn – which is where the strategy of digitizing with an off-site backupand then distributing the originals among my cousins is imperative.

I desperately want to get back to scanning, but in my new wave of realism, I will delay that until the following are complete.

Goal 6a: Reorganize the photo closet by May 31, 2009.I have done a fairly decent job of  dividing the photos and documents into boxes by family, and sometimes by decade. Most of these boxes are labeled. Some are even in archival boxes – as the budget allows. But some flurry of activity over the past months have caused some back sliding here.

Goal 6b: Organize boxes recently brought from my father’s house into the photo closet.My father has moved from his house of almost 30 years. As I helped him go through the basement we set aside seven boxes of family history items for me. “Process” a box a week, completing by June 30, 2009.

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