Genealogy is not just about tracing your family tree. It’s also about knowing your heritage and creating a story about your family. It begins with your family members who are alive and then moves backwards through time. There may be old documents, photographs, artifacts and so on that belong to your family which reveals various facts about them and their stories. Preserving family records and genealogy documents with the help of document scanning services allows you to preserve the past and discover more about your family.
Families may have huge volumes of data in the form of documents or photos that need to be converted. Before this is done, it’s important to organize the documents, photos and artifacts. So the first step would be to create folders for each family line. For every family, make sub-folders, like birth and death records, newspaper records, photographs and videos, land records, personal correspondence, miscellaneous records and so on. This will help you to find the data you need easily. After all the documents are digitized, the physical records need to be stored safely in ring binders or archival safe sheets protectors.
Advantages of Digitizing Genealogy Records
- Best Way to Preserve your Past: Old family records such as photographs, documents, etc, are prone to deterioration or even destruction due mishandling, fading, formation of mould, or disasters like flood, fire etc. These memories can be preserved by digitizing them. Old photos often fade out quickly, but digitization can help adjust and restore the colors.
- Less Clutter: Having a big collection of photos lying around in house can make your space cluttered and congested. This can be resolved by digitizing them. Once your photos or old documents are digitized, all these records become easily searchable. You can add value to the content by listing things like the context, names of people in the photos, where the photo was taken, and so on.
- Easy Sharing: By digitizing the old records of your family, you can easily make copies and share these records with family members.
- Organizes Files: Converting the old records or photos into digital format allows you to keep your old records organized, making it easier to retrieve them.
Best Practices to Digitize Family Archives
Conversion of your old memories into digital format requires skills and the use of right equipment to enhance the images, and make old documents more legible and vivid. Here are a few tips on digitizing your old memories.
- Ensure that you use a good scanner that can produce sharp, high resolution images. Today, there are advanced scanners available in the market that let you convert multiple documents or images into digital format at one time.
- Make sure that you have proper light in your room to get quality output. You can use flash or use apps that can locate the corner of the document or image and straighten them out to produce a clear image without any distortion or glare.
- Make sure to scan the original document, rather than a copy, to produce the highest-quality output.
- Use easy-to-understand and simple metadata and labels for files and collections easily.
- Once the scanning is done, label and catalogue the images. This will help identify the images quickly instead of having to sift through hundreds of images to find the one you need.
- Store the documents in an external hard drive and on a cloud-based online service so that if something happens to one of the storage options, you will always have backup.
- Technology keep changing with every year. So do not store your files in a format that may become obsolete; convert or transfer them to the latest version to keep your documents legible.
- When converting documents with text, save them as text files, which will make them easier to read, search, and work with.
Preserving genealogy is a challenging task families that have massive amounts of documents or records for digitization. A document conversion company can help you accomplish the task easily and efficiently, and without losing any precious data.