The New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) posted two articles on preservation of family history resources on its blog at AmericanAncestors.com.
Readers might wonder why I seem to focus on preservation issues. After years of living in two US states plagued by earthquakes, fires, mud slides or hurricanes and flooding, I tend to be somewhat protective of my research.
Could those precious photos be replaced? Would I have the time to once again reconstruct years of work?
All of us need to take a look at what we are doing to care for our research. Whether it is regularly backing up our research in the "cloud" or storing it on the ground, with documents and photos in archival-grade folders, boxes and plastic sleeves. Many of us use several techniques, just in case.
The NEHGS post mentioned above offers a list of archival supply vendors, reader comments and an article by a researcher who experienced a house fire. There are also additional posts on similar topics.
Although the post did not offer the websites of the companies mentioned, I've added them. Looking through their online catalogues is an educational experience: Archival Products, Archivart, Conservation Resources International, Inc., Gaylord, Hollinger Metal Edge, Paige Company and University Products
Readers also offered comments on some of their own experiences, along with tips, such as donating valuable collections to a site or organization that will properly care for the material, sharing research with other members of the family in case of catastrophe, and tips on storing quilts and other fabrics.
Top Canadian Genealogy Sites
Elizabeth LaPointe writes the Genealogy Canada blog, where she just listed her choice of the top five Canadian genealogy sites.
Among her selections are:
-- Canadian Genealogy & History Links (CGHL)
Click on the link above to read more.
Google+: Answering the Questions
Time for true confessions: I was just as confused by Twitter and Facebook when it seemed that everyone in the world already knew how to use those social media tools. The geneabloggers joined in quickly.
Then I began receiving invitations from the world to join Google+ (Google Plus), and it's the new kid on the block with accompanying question marks. I'm still not sure exactly what a Circle is supposed to be!
Fortunately, we have genealogy guru and geneablogger Dick Eastman to help us through the maze. He has posted two items which may answer some of your questions (and mine).
Dick writes that "someone described it as 'like Facebook, but for grownups.' Indeed, Google+ doesn't seem to have all the security problems of Facebook."
Once available as an invitation-only site to control the numbers of users, it is now open to all. In August, it claimed 25 million users. For more information on a Google page, click here. To find many articles across cyberspace, click here.
Historic Newspapers are Our Friends
There's much we can learn about our ancestors and the times in which they lived through historic newspapers.
Each new digitization project provides more opportunities to discover fascinating facts about our unique families, regardless of whether they lived in rural areas or large cities. I also enjoy looking at the advertisements, where we can learn what our ancestors ate and what household items cost, as well as illustrations of the day's fashions and more.
The Digital Library of Georgia(at the University of Georgia) has just placed digitized, searchable editions of newspapers online for four South Georgia towns: Albany (1845-1884), Americus (1870-1921), Thomasville (1873-1922) and Valdosta (1908-1912). For some cities, there are editions of multiple newspapers.
There are already collections available for other Georgia locations, such as Athens, Atlanta, Columbus, Macon and Milledgeville. Click on the link above to learn more.
Online for Eternity
Two new websites make it possible to stay in touch forever.
-- www.i-tomb.net is the resting place of "virtual tombs" for the deceased. People may create virtual multimedia memorials for loved ones, including photos, videos, texts, music and documents. Friends, family and the public can visit at anytime from anywhere to remember, share information or tell an ancestor's life stories.
-- www.i-memorial.com is where living people can build their own virtual memorial, leave posthumous messages and more, in three secure storage spaces, named My Memorial, My Messages and My Last Wishes.
Learn more about these new sites here.
Let us know if you've visited the sites above, and tell us your experiences and thoughts about them. We look forward to your comments.