Monday, December 10, 2012

Tracking your photocopies

While any organizing system is personal and should be adapted to one's own style, a few general principles can help.
When making photographic copies (photocopies) in a library or elsewhere, or when researching using online document images, it's always important to document and record or cite the exact source and its location on the photocopy itself and in a research log, making it easier to transfer that information to a genealogy software program, if you use one. Family researchers typically accumulate a volume of photocopied documents in the course of their research: the problem then becomes organizing those documents so they can be easily located.
For printed documents, you want to keep them in the most logical place where they can be easily accessed. For example, keeping all documents for a particular family or individual together in one file folder or notebook. It is also a good practice to keep a list, something like a Table of Contents at the front of the folder or notebook, listing the documents inside, providing a ready reference.
For documents stored online, a simple but consistent way of naming image files is important (e.g. name>document type>location), as is keeping the documents together in a documents folder by subject: both such practices make searching for a document easier. Today, documents can also be attached to individual files within one's genealogy software or stored and accessed online; even so, the researcher's own practice of recording and labelling documents is still paramount.
Don’t forget that you can store copies of the same document in different places. An additional copy, such as a marriage certificate in both family folders, may save you time searching later.

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