ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2005-07 > 1121176708
From: "MScheffler" <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Re: Need Advice on Organizing Items
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 09:58:28 -0400
A couple of comments on organizing data in research notebooks. I too
tend to take a notebook with me when I go on a genealogy trip and make notes
as I go along, particularly if I am in the library and want to start with
the same book the next time around.
The one thing that helped me the most in getting organized from a trip
is to photocopy every page of interest, making sure to note the author
title, etc. from each source on the copied papers. Jotted down notes tend
to be less useful to me, because I tend to leave things out. Yes I have
forgotten to write down the name of the book occasionally on the photocopied
pages, and that is REALLY frustrating.
Alternately you can take a digital camera and take pictures of the
pages, copying the title page or putting in a place identification page
between books or other materials so that when you print them out, you have
an idea of what you found when. You might want to practice copying from
books in advance of your trip to make sure you have an idea of how to hold
the camera, whether or not to use flash, how to frame the page, etc. in
advance of a trip to maximize good legible copies that need minimal
cropping. The most important key is learning to steadily hold the camera.
`I "try" as much as possible to print off the digital pages and put them
or the paper photocopies in correct files when I get home. Sometimes I have
a working folder and put everything from that trip together in it until I
get to it. If I wait too long I tend to forget why I copied some items, so
it helps within a day or two to do at least some cursory organizing and
perhaps enter what is most relevant into your computer database.
I do take a notebook computer with me for most of my research, and try
to do most data entry as I go along. That makes the organizing easier, but
if I am in a hurry, I just photocopy or photograph and enter later since it
takes more time to actually enter names, dates, comments, etc. Genealogy
programs tend to not use extensive computer resources, so even an old slow
notebook computer can be a wonderful asset to research.
One further note, I may find several years later as I look through old
family files that some of the pages I had photocopied and thought only
possibly related to what I was looking for turned out to contain the key to
the puzzle. But I had not enough information at the time to realize just
what was important. Thus a good reason for copying a few extra pages when
one is not sure if something relates to your area of interest.