Why is it that every time some new technology comes along, I panic? Is it because I’m afraid I won’t understand it, or that I just don’t have the time to learn something new? Either way, I discovered a couple of years ago that scanning is fantastic! I was on my way to England to do research, and had visions of carting around weighty binders of documents everywhere I went. I knew that I had to have my records with me as I visited archives and record offices. Then I realized that if I got brave and learned how to scan my documents, I could reduce my baggage, both in my arms and in my head.
There are probably a dozen or more ways to organize documents. For me, it was a matter of creating surname family files on the computer under a “Family History” folder. In each of those surname folders, I created individual files labeled with the names of my couples with that surname. For instance, I have a “Webb” folder and under that folder, one of the couples is “George Webb & Charlotte Drake”. In George & Charlotte’s folder, I have scanned all the documents and images that pertain to them as adults from their marriage to their deaths, including the records for their children’s events until they left home. And then as I discover the children’s families, I create a folder for each of them and continue the process.
For a tutorial on scanning photographs, click here:
Scanning has made it a lot easier for me to organize my family records. It was a great solution to my traveling problem, and has also made it easier to access these documents when I need to e-mail them to a cousin or download them onto a database on the Internet. I hope you have the same success with scanning – please feel free to share any tips or ideas you have!