Happy blogiversary to Sassy Jane. It’s been so fast I can’t believe it, but Sassy Jane Genealogy turns three today. Many thanks to Thomas MacEntee, who helped me get started at Jamboree 2010 and has been a tireless supporter ever since.

I thank all of my readers and followers, especially the ones who followed me after the big redesign and relocation. The old blog will sunset soon. I look forward to another year full of research discoveries for us all. Thanks for following along.

And to celebrate, I’m highlighting the most popular of the tips Sassy Jane has delivered over the past three years. It’s a simple one, but it works:

When we encountered faded or difficult-to-read documents in the archives, it could be a challenge to photocopy or even read the text or handwriting.

To increase the contrast on a faint or faded document, place it inside a yellow-tinted sheet protector when photocopying. (If the sheet protector you buy is only open on one end, slit the other side so that you won’t abrade your documents sliding them in and out of the sheet protector. And never, never store documents in this kind of plastic over the long term.)

The same principle works when you’re working at a downward-projecting microfilm reader. I always carry a sheet of yellow legal pad paper with me on trips to the library. Placing it on the image from the reader increases the contrast and not only helps you decipher handwriting, but also doesn’t fatigue your eyes as quickly.