Sunday, January 14, 2007

What Do You Keep?

How do you manage the tons of paper that genealogy can generate? At New Years almost everyone had papers to file, desks to clean and papers to organize. I've seen many great tips on how to organize but very few on what to keep.

Documentation has always been a struggle for me. I try to add a source for everything I add to my file but do I need to have all of that info on paper?

My cousin who is just starting out made tons of copies while on her trip and is diligently sorting through all of it now. After she gets everything entered / recorded in her file what does she do with it all? I want to get her off to a good start so help me out here!

Do you keep every copy, every scrap of paper that you've come across? How do you decide what to keep and what to recycle?

Do you print out every record that you find online? Do you simply save an image to your hard drive? Or do you just record the location url as part of your source notes?

Does it matter how close a relation is?

After filing away what you do keep, do you ever go back and look at it again? Can you find it again?

Do you scan all of / part of the paper files you bring home? Do you attach an electronic copy of everything right in your file. TMG has a place to do this and you could use FTM's scrapbook feature. If you do this do you save census records just to the head of the household or do you save a copy in each family members file?

If you transcribe a page of a book or some such, do you also keep a photocopy of that page?

If I had kept a paper copy of everything I've found I would have to my own small library to house it in. I spent quite awhile looking at my files this morning and while they are fairly organized they are full of things I don't think I'll ever look at or need again.

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