family records

4 May 2015

Primary Source Analysis Tool

The Primary Source Analysis Tool is a creation of the Library of Congress that can help your genealogy research.
LC’s Primary Source Analysis Tool was originally designed to help teachers enliven history for their students using historical documents. The exercises built into the Primary Source Analysis Tool can also be helpful for genealogy research, encouraging you to look at family primary source photos or documents with a fresh perspective.

For genealogical purposes, it helps to use the Primary Source Analysis Tool on your family primary sources with other genealogist friends or groups. Or you can think of yourself as both the teacher and the student as you work through the questions.

The Library of Congress exercise is as follows:

Using Primary Sources
Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by […]

1 May 2015

SOS Save Our Stuff 2015

The American Library Association is now promoting SOS Save Our Stuff 2015. Each year during national Preservation Week in the United States, ALA reaches out to family historians and cultural organizations with helpful resources for preserving archives and family records. Here are the links for SOS Save Our Stuff 2015:

Preservation Facts

Shocking facts that illustrate the need for national preservation awareness.

More Preservation Facts

More facts that discusses how items become damaged and simple steps to keep items safe.

Resources for Military Families

Information for the specific challenges that come with documenting and preserving a military career.

Preserving Your Memories

Organized by material type, these websites, books, and other sources give useful information on caring for any kind of collection.

Disaster Recovery

Information for before and after a disaster has damaged precious collections.

Bibliographies & Indexes

A list of links to resources collected by professional preservation organizations

Videos

Video resources depict ways and reasons to preserve collections

Preservation for Children

Tools to help children understand […]

24 Jan 2015

Winter 2015 Sale for Genealogy Archival Supplies

The Hollinger Metal Edge Winter 2015 Sale for Genealogy Archival Supplies is on now and ends 31 January 2015. Get 20 percent off of 2014 prices for all archival supplies at Hollinger Metal Edge, where professional archivists shop. This isn’t an advertised sale, so use the following code to get this discount.
Use Code: 2015 for your order to get the discount prices for the Winter 2015 Sale for Genealogy Archival Supplies.
I am dismayed when genealogists tell me they buy acid-free supplies for their priceless family papers at discount or office supply stores, home parties, or other outlets that aren’t in the preservation business. That isn’t where libraries or archives shop and neither should you. Archivists swear by Hollinger, the leader in this field since 1945. If they say it’s acid-free, you can count on it.

Products I really like include:

File Folders
Flip-top Document Storage Boxes
Textile Storage (also great for flat oversized documents)
3-mil. Archival Polyester Sleeves

If you’ve heard my presentation […]

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!

One 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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