Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tips from the Pros: What Have You Preserved Lately? from Michael John Neill

Recently I was asked to make a presentation at a family reunion. As part of the process, I had temporary access to the “reunion book” which had been kept since the mid 1950s. This book had a record of everyone who attended the reunion and the town they were living at the time (including a list of out-of-state addresses from the early 1970s). There were lists of births, deaths, and marriages, along with lists of reunion expenses, entertainment, and prizewinners. There was even a record of the great debate in the early 1970s whether to donate $25 or $15 to the church for use of the hall. I realized that there was only one copy of this book and that the information it contained could easily be lost. Since I had to return it, the easiest way to immediately preserve it was by photocopying it in its entirety. My next step is to determine whether I should make additional copies, scan it, and burn some CDs. I’m still considering my options. But at least now there is more than one copy. The next time you have access to an “unpublished” source, ask yourself, “Is there some way that I could preserve this for future generations?” Someone in 100 years may thank you for it.

-Taken from

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