MayDay 2014 Genealogy Data Sassy Jane GenealogyToday’s post is MayDay Genealogy Data, to mark MayDay 2014, an annual national preservation day sponsored by professionals from archives, libraries, museums, historic preservation, and historical societies. On this date each year, these professions review their emergency preparedness plans, and help individuals with emergency preparedness for personal data and papers.

So let’s take a leaf from the Society of American Archivists and take time during MayDay 2014 to think about preserving our family history data.

At home, too often our emergency planning takes second place to more pressing demands. (I’m going to assume that everyone has already ensured their personal safety so that we can focus on data. But if you need to improve your personal safety measures, visit

A starting place for your data and papers:

  1. Are you backing up your data locally?
  2. If you are, could you grab that hard drive and go with only a few minutes’ warning?
  3. Have you stored your family papers in a cool, dark, dry environment or are they still in the attic or basement or garage?
  4. Have you stored duplicates of your family tree files and important scans in Crashplan, CarboniteDropbox or another cloud-computing service?
  5. Does more than one person in your household know what the plan is for saving your family data?

What other strategies are you using to insure the safety of your research?

Remember, you are not just the genealogist for your family; you are also the preservationist. So take a moment during MayDay 2014 to review and plan for the unexpected.