digital collections

17 Jan 2015

Choosing Image Management Software

My good friend and fellow genealogist Judy Webster has started the new year with some resolutions about organizing her research using a “source-based incremental fix,” rather than a giant do-over approach. Makes sense to me!

Choosing Image Management SoftwareOne of her steps is choosing image management software to better organize her family photos. This is an essential step, and one that I cover in more detail in my e-book, Cataloging Family Photographs & Records.

But let’s take a look in this blog post as some of the software options.

Image management software is used by genealogists to:

  • Create high-resolution master scans
  • Edit photos to resize, crop, and alter master digital files
  • Make changes to many photos with a batch edit
  • Add information to digital images using metadata
  • Search for images and retrieve them using keywords
  • Use special functions, such as creating albums, employing facial recognition or adding GPS linking

Adobe Photoshop is the leader in this category, but it’s extremely expensive and complex to use. It also has a lot of sophisticated features geared to graphic designers that genealogists will probably never need or learn to use. So an alternative to Photoshop is a good idea.

Fortunately there are several lower-cost image management applications available that are easier to use. Alternatives to Photoshop include:

  • Photoshop Elements ($80-$100) – think of it as Photoshop Lite. Has powerful image editing capabilities, including GPS and facial recognition; easier to use than Photoshop but still has a learning curve. Many free tutorials available. Also has scanning feature. Mac or Windows. A 30-day demo is available for download by clicking here. Tip: Adobe releases a new version of Photoshop Elements every year, usually with only small changesbetween versions. The current version of the software is 13. Earlier versions are available for sale online at big discounts.

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4 Jan 2015

Finding Historic Newspapers Online

Today’s post is about finding historic newspapers online through the Rural West Initiative, a project of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University.

This project combines visuals and data to create an interactive map of the growth of U.S. newspapers from 1690 through 2011. The map combines population estimates from NASA with information from Chronicling America, the historic newspaper database at the Library of Congress. Data visualization is credited to Dan Chang, Krissy Clark, Yuankai Ge, Geoff McGhee, Yinfeng Qin and Jason Wangby of the Rural West Initiative.

The Growth of Newspapers Across the U.S.: 1690-2011” is highly interactive and I urge you to experience the map directly by clicking here. The map also offers filters for languages and publication frequency help customize results.

The topmost image illustrates papers available in 1790, with results by title for the town of Litchfield, Connecticut, at the lower left of the […]

2 Jan 2015

First Friday Genealogy January 2015

Available (you guessed it) the first Friday of the month, “First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane” contains tips and tricks for your family history research, highlights from this website, and special content for subscribers only.

The First Friday Genealogy newsletter for January 2015 has been delivered to subscribers. This month’s issue looks back at the top posts from my blog in 2014. The most popular post this year was about finding missing marriage records.

Download the free January issue of FFG here. To receive each monthly issue in your mail, start your free subscription here:

My focus is genealogy from an archivist’s perspective. Topics include using primary sources effectively, search strategies, archives news, and technology tips. Information on how to organize genealogy research, catalog family photographs, and simplify sources and citations are also favorite topics. I also like sharing information on using iPads and iPhones for mobile genealogy.

There are lots of genealogy newsletters out there, so […]

8 Nov 2014

Arkivdigital Swedish Records Free This Weekend

Arkivdigital Swedish Records Free This Weekend – apologies for the short notice, but those of us researching in Sweden should take advantage of this offer.

ArkivDigital features online archives containing church books (parish records) from the 1600s to 1894 for all of Sweden (household examinations, moving in and out records, birth, marriage and death records). Also available are many of the modern church books (1895-1942), including congregation books,moving in and out records, birth, marriage and death records that are available within Swedish record privacy constraints.

This weekend access is free to all available records.

Check to see what church books are available for a parish by going to www.arkivdigital.net and click on the section image database. (Swedish law limits access to records from 1929 to 1950 because it falls within the current restrictions on information from the last 70 years.)

ArkivDigital improves on the records available from LDS microfilm (about 100 million pages from the Swedish archives) […]