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Digital Filing & Management of Photos and Documents?

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    Digital Filing & Management of Photos and Documents?

    I am curious as to how others are storing their digital copies of photos and documents.
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    I have recently inherited 3 binders of family photos to add to my collection which I have now started scanning.

    As I remove the photos form the old "magnetic photo pages" I have been writing all of the details on the back of the photos. The photos are then scanned into jpgs and stored in a temporary directory "Photo Binder A".

    These photos are then imported into Lightroom where I will enter peoples names, occasion and location as keywords. I intend to change the file names to include dates such as "1960-07-08 Birthday" to allow sorting of photos by date. The final step will be to use the map function of lightroom to add GPS co-ordinates to the meta data.

    Once these steps are completed I am intending to copy many of these images to Apple Photos. That makes the images very portable.

    I have very nearly completed scanning old family documents. These are all assigned to directories sorted by surname and date: "Thompson, Grant. 1960-05-05. Report Card". These directories will grow as i continue internet searches for my ancestors.

    The Dilemma
    I have one master directory for images and one directory for documents. Multipage documents are in pdf form. Lightroom will not import pdfs. Ideally I would view all of my documents in chronological order in one application, such as Lightroom, but that will not happen unless I convert pdfs to image files.

    What is your management process for your files?

    Thanks, Grant

    So I’m not entirely sure how I wound up doing things this way, but it's what works for me. I have main directories for photos and scanned family documents on an external hard drive. For whatever reason, I have decided not to save documents I download from subscription sites on Ancestry or FamilySearch here.

    I am a photographer so I have many photos, not just for genealogy. The directory contains folders sorted by date and identifier. I manage them in Lightroom and use keywords/metadata so I can locate them later.

    My file structure looks something like this
    Photos > 2022-10-31-Hendrickson > HendricksonWilliam-01.jpg

    Like you, I save my documents as images but multi-page docs are saved as PDFs. Documents are stored in another directory with my 4 grandparents' surnames.
    Documents > Hendrickson > HendricksonWilliam-DeathCertificate-11071899.pdf

    That said, I do not use these locations for Reunion and sort them differently because this is where I save downloaded items, documents, books, etc.. For Reunion, I have folders set up for each of my 4 grandparents but have multiple folders within. It just makes it easier for me to find what I am looking for.

    My directory looks like this currently:
    Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 11.24.22 PM.png

    Hope this helps.


      Thanks Eventide. Good to see how others handle their files and directories.



        My 'system' has had to be simplified over the years as software, hardware, cloud policies and my own experience/remembrance changed. Scanned photo prints are in a single drive with folders and sequential numbers by family, Each scan is captioned with any notations on the back and the drive is backed up. Assignment and further explanation is handled by Reunion Multimedia tools.

        Scanned documents are pdf in a single folder named Sources, on Dropbox co-located with Reunion Family file, each named Source # one for one with Reunion Sources and included as Reunion Sources multimedia for reference on Touch.

        Dropbox subscription is free this way and I have numerous older USB drives attached to my Mini.