St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Preserving History: How Digital Are Your Records?

If you have ever received a bad file in email or a great big box of outdated floppy discs made by a distant and now dead cousin, you will appreciate the following article.  Actually, you'll enjoy reading the article even if your files have been pristine.

Preserve often--  preserve well..........

The link in the Dick Eastman article will take you to the white paper.  Read it, ponder the super information presented--  and then join me as I search for an achival data reader..........

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

I have written several times about the advantages and disadvantages of storing records digitally for many years, both your personal records as well as the holdings of major archives and records repositories. Now Gary Wright, an employee of FamilySearch, has written a definitive whitepaper on the subject that explains the issues involved with digital archiving. He describes in detail the pitfalls of digital storage of priceless paperwork and of old family photographs that have been digitized. As he explains, if done right, digital archives will last for decades. If done wrong, they may not last three years.

I had a chance to read this whitepaper a few weeks ago when Gary circulated it amongst a number of people in the industry, asking for our comments. I told Gary at that time that he had to publish it on the web and, when he did, to please let me know the address so that I could inform the readers of this newsletter. After all the comments were in, Gary did exactly that. White Paper: Preserving Your Family History Records Digitally is now available on the web site at

I would suggest you read this whitepaper and consider the information within it carefully. Then forward copies to all your genealogy friends, society members, and anyone else with an interest in genealogy. I think every genealogist as well as every person who has heirloom documents and photographs in his or her possession should read White Paper: Preserving Your Family History Records Digitally at

Ahh genealogy. How do I digitize?  Let me count the ways........

©2010 AS Eldredge

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