I was named for two very special women in my mom’s life. One of them was Mrs. Eva Busch, who was like a grandmother to my mom when she was young. She lived right around the corner when my mom was growing up, and would often watch her while her parents were at work. Mrs. Busch had been good friends with my mom’s Grandma Kaiser, and although she sometimes took care of other children in the neighborhood, she had a special bond with my mom. My mom would spend time at her house after school and during the summer when her parents were at work. They spent many of their days baking pies, cookies, or bread. One of her specialties was Hickory Nut Cake. In the fall, they would gather nuts from the Hickory trees in their yards, and they would spend many hours cracking them and separating the nuts from the shells. After all that hard work, the cake was quite a treat! On warm days, my mom enjoyed reading a book underneath the large white bridal wreath bush in front of her house. Mrs. Busch’s garden also always had colorful snapdragons, and she would show my mom how to pinch the flowers to make the “dragons” snap open their “mouths.” On cold or rainy days, Mrs. Busch taught my mom how to play solitaire or other card games. Mrs. Busch passed away when my mom was in college. Although my mom always called her Mrs. Busch, she thought her first name, Eva, was a pretty name, and when I was born, she paired it with my aunt’s middle name, Anne, to make my first name. Mrs. Busch and my aunt were very kind, patient, and practical women, and were talented bakers. I’m hoping to live up to my name!
Congratulations! You’ve made it to Step #4! You’re almost there! You’ve put so much work into creating your Digital Family History Archive, and now we’re going to protect your Archive from disaster and make sure that it remains accessible and functional for years to come. In this step, we’ll talk about backing up your archive using the rule of 3-2-1 and creating a plan for your archive in the future. This step is easy to forget, but is essential for the survival of your Archive. Continue reading “Archiving Your Digital Family History Files (#4): Protect Your Digital Archive”
Now that you have an Archive set up, and you have established an overall organizational system, it’s time to tackle those individual files. This step in the process is the most time consuming, especially as you’re getting started, but once you get used to the process, it will be much faster!
For each file that will enter your archive, you’ll need to do four things:
- Decide if it’s something that you need to save.
- Decide if you need to resave the file in a different file format.
- Rename the file into a standard format, and add other information to the file if needed.
- Move the file into its appropriate place in your new Archive.
In my previous posts, I discussed why it’s important to organize your digital genealogy files into an archive, and gave you a few pointers for locating all your genealogy files (Step #1). Before you start organizing all these files, you’ll need a place to put them (Step #2). In this step, I’ll show you how to create your new digital Family History Archive, and develop your own organizational system which will hold all your genealogy files. I’ll also show you the organizational system that I use in my Digital Archive.
Create your new Digital Archive
Before we do anything else, you’ll need to decide where you’re going to put your new Family History Archive. You’ll need a physical device to put your digital archive. A good place for your Archive is on your current computer (if there is enough space and if it’s reliable) or an external hard drive that can easily connect to your computer. (Don’t worry about having a place to back it up right now; we’ll get to that in Step #4!) Before you decide, let’s look at the various storage options out there. Continue reading “Archiving Your Digital Family History Files (#2): Organize Your New Digital Archive”
This is part two of a five-part blog series about organizing and preserving your digital genealogy files. Read the introduction here.
I started doing family history research when I was about 10 years old, when most of our research was still very much paper-based. If I had any digital files, they were saved on my parents’ computer. In the years since then, both my dad and I have done genealogy research, and our digital files accumulated on both of our computers, in our emails, on various flash drives, and many other digital locations. I’ve had to develop ways to keep track of both the paper and digital files that we’ve accumulated. Most of my research is now stored digitally. During my library science degree, I took a class in Digital Preservation, and for a class project, decided that it was time to consolidate all of our genealogy “stuff” into one shared Digital Genealogy Archive, and I developed an organizational system to manage it. I now have over 600 GB and 23,000 files (and growing!) in my digital archive. This blog series combines what I’ve learned in my Digital Preservation class about Personal Digital Archiving, and my own lessons learned from creating my own Digital Genealogy Archive. Continue reading “Archiving Your Digital Family History Files (#1): Find Your Digital “Stuff””