Sunday, July 26, 2020

Dear Randy: "How Do You Plan To Pass On Your Genealogy Life's Work?" - Post 2: Paper Archives

I wrote Dear Randy: "How Do You Plan To Pass On Your Genealogy Life's Work?" - Post 1 last week and listed the "genealogy stuff" that I have.

I want to go through my list one section at a time.  Today, it is item #2 - the books, periodicals, binders, folders, reports, papers, newsletters, etc.  

1)  With about 80 linear feet of paper in stacks, bookcases, and filing cabinets, there are only a few genealogy things that I want my descendants to keep, including:

*  Our Christmas letters since 1983.

*  25 years of the Seaver-Richmond Family Newsletter that I sent to family at Christmas time.

*  The notebook with all of the vital and other records collected over 32 years (so far) that I paid for.

*  The GSMD Mayflower Society application currently in work, and any other application (I prepared a DAR application 28 years ago but never submitted it).  

*  The file of personal letters and papers handed down through the Smith and Carringer family.

*  My two books - one for my mother, and one for my Seaver ancestry.  Unpublished, but distributed to my brothers, children and several cousins.  I had hoped to do more, of course.

*  The family photograph collection on the walls, in the closets, in the bookcases, in the boxes, and any loose on the floor.  I have not digitized all of these!  Many of them are not captioned.  

I have digitized almost all of those, but they are still precious to me.

2)  What about the rest of it?  I doubt that the descendants or executors will be interested in much of it.  I hope that they will at least ask some of my genea-friends about sorting through them.

*  The published books can be kept or donated to a local library or genealogical society.  I have over 100 genealogy books, including many that every genealogist should have (Evidence Explained, Professional Genealogy, Mastering Genealogical Proof, several Mayflower Families books, etc.).  Many would be valuable to a local library if they have a genealogy collection.  I also have about 40 of the laminated 4-page "Genealogy at a Glance" type of foldout education sheets that might be very useful for genealogical society members.

*  The published periodical issues that sit on top of my bookcase and threaten to topple on me if I get too close can also be donated to a local library or genealogical society, or discarded.  I have stacks for NEHG Register, American Ancestors, NGS Quarterly, NGS Magazine, Family Tree Magazine, Internet Genealogy, The American Genealogist,  The Searcher, and more from the 1990 to 2020 period.  I have some of these in digital format also in my computer files.

*  Printed Conference syllabi and printed off articles from conference syllabi from the last 15 years.  A local genealogical society might be interested, or they could be discarded.  I have many of these in digital format now in my computer files.

*  Genealogy society newsletters - especially the local CVGS, SDGS and CGSSD (defunct).  The societies might care to have a fairly complete set.  Again, I have these since about 2010 in digital format on my computer.

*  Genealogy presentation handouts for 10 years of OASIS classes and 20 years of giving talks all over the USA and on cruise ships.  These can probably be discarded.  I have the presentations in ODP and PDF format and the handouts in PDF on my computer.  I even have some overhead projector slides from pre-2000 presentations to CVGS!

*  Photocopies and slicky copies from microfilm copiers at the San Diego FHC and Family history Library of deeds and probate files, many of them on 11x17 paper.  Almost all of them can be discarded because they are available in digital format on FamilySearch.

*  All of the papers in the surname and locality binders that fill up four bookcases and part of my genea-cave floor.  These are notes, photocopies of articles or book chapters, old correspondence, etc., for the hundreds of ancestral families that I have collected since 1988.  I rarely refer to them now because almost all of it is online.  I haven't weeded them out to get rid of the census sheets, Ancestral File group sheets, etc.  This is about 50% of my paper collection!  

*  I'm sure that there are more categories I could list, but it's just paper, and most of it is in digital format.

3)  A local genealogical society could sell or auction the books and periodicals to members, or on eBay, if they want to take the time.  I don't think that saving the ancestral family files in the binders would be time efficient, and almost all of it is on the Internet.

4)  Gee, that's not saving much, is it?  Perhaps 5% or less of the paper stuff!  Books, periodicals and newsletters can be found online or in libraries and/or bookstores if necessary.

Of course, I could start culling through all of these papers myself and put the stuff I want to save in, say, my file cabinets with labels.  But that will take time.  Two hours a day would probably take a year to go through just the binders and floor stuff.  

5)  I would rather finish up the GSMD application, the DNA Painter graphics, the eBooks, getting more home movies digitized, and all of them narrated and on YouTube, etc.  Not to mention the daily search for records on Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast, American Ancestors and MyHeritage, and adding them to my digital files and my RootsMagic family tree.

6)  I will discuss the digital collection of all of my genealogy records, photographs, record images, books, periodicals, presentations, newsletters and more in the next post in this series.


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