RobbHaas Family Pages
|My Organization System|
Every person in my family files has a unique ID number (ID0000) - These numbers are generated by a database - They are attached to each person in Legacy Family Tree, my web pages, documents, photos, etc.
- This is how I am able to determine which Joe Jones I am looking for
- I rarely search for a person by name, usually by their ID number - Much easier and quicker
- This ID# is attached to the person in my RootsMagic record for that person
Each document, whether physical or digital is given an accession number
A. The document is accessioned and the information, including the source citation and the transcription/extract, is entered into the database
- Therefore, no matter where I want to use that information all I have to do is cut and paste it from the database record to the
B. The Accession number (Acc000000) follows this item everywhere - RootsMagic, my web pages, any upload to anywhere
C. If there is a document to be scanned, I scan the document as a .pdf file and give it a unique Doc number -
- This Doc number (Doc0000) follows it everywhere
Each of my photos 20,000+ are assigned a unique Ph number (Ph0000)
A. I create descriptive file names with names, dates, ID numbers, Acc numbers, etc
B. I add captions with names, dates, places, Acc numbers, Doc numbers, ID numbers, etc. in Picasa
- This makes it very easy to search for the name, the ID number, the Acc number, etc. to find a specific image
- Sample file name: Ph9999-Acc0000-JoeJones-ID0000-RidingHorse-4Oct2012
C. I scan all photos as .tif files at 600dpi
(I must admit when I first began my numbering system was not so great and there are still several of those with outdated filenames that still exist)
- Each Book I use as a resource is given a unique Bk number (Bk0000) -
- Each Book I own is given one of these Bk numbers, whether fiction, non-fiction, research, etc.
- This data for each book is collected in my "Books" Access Database
- This Bk# is used whenever a book is used as a source, reference, note, etc.
ID numbers follow the person, document, photo. etc.
Wherever they go
A. If I find a photo of 3 people - all three ID numbers are attached to that photo
B. If I have a document that refers to 3 people all three ID numbers are attached to it along with the Acc number
RootsMagic as my Family
Web Site #1:
I have my web pages at RootsWeb
A. I add information to both the Legacy Family Tree DB and the web pages for people
B. I upload images to Picasa Web Albums and then embed them in the person's web page
My web pages
are located at:
I found that one of the limitations with most any database program were things such as data that related to a large family group instead of just an individual - with my web pages I can add data to a person, the entire family, a place, a cemetery, add maps, images, etc. so much easier.
Web Site #2:
I store my documents in File Cabinets and label them SB-1, SB-2, etc. - These Storage locations are attached to the accession records
A. Making it very easy to find any item
B. A Digital only item (i.e. digital census image from Ancestry.com) will be labeled "Digital Only" in my accession DB and
the Ph or Doc number is indicated.
Photos, Slides, Negatives
I store my photos in storage boxes and label them PSB-1, PSB-2, etc (Photo Storage Box)
A. In Picasa I indicate in the caption the physical location of the print, slide, or negative i.e. [Storage: PSB-1/026] -
B. Also in the caption I indicate the size of the print I scanned and the size I scanned it to i.e. [Scanned from 3.5 x 3.5 BW print, to 5x7 size]
C. The negative or Slide number is also part of the caption when available
D. On the back of each photo is the Ph number, the negative number, names, dates, places, storage location, etc.
I store my slides in either notebooks or storage boxes - they are labeled Slides-1, Slides-2, etc.
I store my negatives in Storage boxes labeled Neg-1, Neg-2, etc.
- I keep track of the negatives and slides with a database
- I am in the process of scanning and creating print sheets for all my negatives and slides so I can connect any physical print with their
corresponding negative or slide
When I first started my Family History journey I tried filing and storing things by family names but that got cumbersome in a hurry - thus this system of Identification numbers, storage places, etc. has evolved.
I began a few years ago attempting to go all Digital - Now when I
come across a record online, for example, I no longer download and
print a physical copy. Instead, I copy the URL of the record
into my RootsMagic database and create a very detailed source
citation so that I, or other people, will have enough information to
locate this exact record themselves. Even if the URL does not
work in the future the Source Citation will point to the document.
I normally create the source citation and transcribe the document
directly into RootsMagic where I add the link to the document
and the image if one exists. With this method I usually no
longer assign Acc numbers to documents.
|I believe in
lots of backups
- My computer has a RAID system (essentially, I have 2 C Drives which are mirror images of one another - if one goes bad the other one automatically takes over so no data is lost)
- I have a D Drive that is solely for the purpose of backing up the C Drives daily
- I make daily copies of that daily backup and store them on external drives kept in a safe in my office and to the Cloud
- I have a full backup stored in a bank safe deposit box as well
- I have at least 3 to 4 copies of all files on my system stored somewhere
- I once lost all my data back in the early days of computing and have never forgotten that nightmare
- I continually update items as new technology comes along and more and cheaper storage space becomes available -
- I am in the process of re-scanning most of my documents and photos now to make them hi-res - or scanning the docs as .pdfs instead of .jpg or .tif files
I am also continually updating my source citations - when I first started many years ago, my sourcing skills were not well-defined - They are still not perfect, but much better than before.
A very interesting set of articles from FamilySearch are
available on this subject which is well worth reading for anyone
seriously considering organization and/or long term storage of
|I know this sounds very complicated
and a lot of work and it is - but if you want a way to be able to
find things this system works -
- I have found down through life that when you are dealing with objects, documents, etc. each item requires an ID number of some sort and then a way to track those numbers. If I can be of any assistance please let me know.
For my University Internship I designed and implemented a Collections Management System for a small museum to make it easier for them to keep track of their collections. I used the system I have described here. As long as the system is adhered to and kept up to date it works.
|BTW, Family history is virtually all I do, so I have plenty of time to devote to it. I use a computer system with four 23-inch monitors and lots of memory and hard drive space, which helps with moving things between databases, online pages, etc. I love organizing and having a place for everything and making sure that each item is in its place - I lose sleep when I cannot lay my hands on a specific item instantly.|