Part of the “process” of getting back to the basics* is to determine what I actually have on my shelves. I watched a Legacy Tree Webinar presented by Shannon Combs-Bennett on January 11, 2017 titled “Tips and Tricks to Organizing Your Genealogy” and this was one of the Tips. So I decided to take it to heart and created a plan, based on her webinar, to begin my “back to the basics” organizational plan.
One of the first tips is to Take an Inventory. So here is what I did. I hope it helps you if you are going to organize you genealogy materials. This first question to consider is to determine “What do you have?” Here is my answer.
Over the years, I have moved so many times, where I had to box things up and then find a new place to place it. In doing that, my filing systems have collapsed, changed, and papers are lost in boxes where I still have no idea where they are.Included in that problem is the fact that I inherited a large quantity of boxes of genealogy material from my mother, which many boxes of I have just glanced at what was in it but not dealt with it in a productive way. The current goal is to find all genealogy material that I own (or inherited) and get it into a useful organization, that can be accessed at a moment’s notice.
Photos—I have thousands of photos on my hard drive. Quite a few are genealogy related and a lot not. The system I have is totally inadequate, and convoluted. In addition, for whatever reason many are duplicated several times, which is a waste of space. To find a particular photo, it sometimes take me 5 to 10 minutes to find one, and sometimes I give up and have to come back later to try again. My systems must be overhauled totally.
I do not have a lot, but what I do have, I need to write up a paragraph or two about the provenance, how I came to have it, and what history there is about it, and who should get it when I pass away. This also includes any keepsakes I have accumulated, especially my own keepsakes from my childhood etc.
I have three kinds of genealogy related books:
#1. Reference books, about how to do genealogy;
#2. Collection of books written by others, about my ancestral history, as well as family trees published or unpublished;
#3. Books, pamphlets, DVD’s, etc. that I have written about my family history.
* See my previous post under Swisher Research to see how I began to implement this inventory.