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  #1  
Old 06 June 2017, 02:46 AM
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Default Scan& & Archive original documents

I have a massive collection of hard copy documents related to family history. I intend scanning these documents and archiving them. Google Drive has been recommended for this project. I'm looking for advice on how to set up such a searchable database and any other tips before I start. It would also be good if they could somehow be linked to Reunion.
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  #2  
Old 07 June 2017, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Scan& & Archive original documents

I have already done what you want to do, but not with Google Docs/Drive. I scanned everything as pdf and gave each file a name that is not much more than just a number. To make the documents searchable I added keywords to each one. The keywords I chose were the name and user id# as they are displayed in Reunion. I also added keywords for state and either the year or decade the document was created.

I've done the same thing for about 7,000 old photos. Tedious work, but now I can find anything. It's kind of like playing the card game Fish. Instead of saying, "Give me all your Kings," I say, "Give me all your #1758s," or, "Give me all your Californias AND Year=1932."

I also dragged every PDF into the person's multi media area. I do not attach them to sources or events but simply put everything in the person's space. If it's a marriage record I have it in both the husband and wife's multi media area. I like it this way because it's easy to see how many documents I have for each person. Another example is funeral programs. If I have one for an ancestors of course it goes in the multimedia section for the deceased. But if one of the pall bearers mentioned is also a relative I include a copy of that funeral program in his multimedia area too.

Nothing is perfect and this may not work for everyone but it does for me. I can give more details offline if anyone wants them.
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  #3  
Old 07 June 2017, 07:54 PM
Kim
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Default Re: Scan& & Archive original documents

I have most of my documents scanned and attached to a source in Reunion.
I also use Evernote to create a note for each source and include the source number from Reunion. I drag the document to the note so that it is accessible on my iPad when I am out and about. I also tag each note with major surnames, type of documement (marriage, birth, military, etc), and sometimes location (if I remember). I also tag with 'todo', 'later' 'source', etc. This makes it easy to find my documents by searching a combination of tags, no matter where I am.
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  #4  
Old 08 June 2017, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: Scan& & Archive original documents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan Park View Post
Nothing is perfect and this may not work for everyone but it does for me. I can give more details offline if anyone wants them.
Susan, I'm interested in evaluating alternatives to my practice, so I wonder...

How many individuals are in the largest of your family files?
What search engine do you use to locate a document of interest?
Do you use Smart folders, or organize the files by 'hard' Finder folders?

Thanks for your info...
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  #5  
Old 08 June 2017, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Scan& & Archive original documents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Reitz View Post
Susan, I'm interested in evaluating alternatives to my practice, so I wonder...

How many individuals are in the largest of your family files?
What search engine do you use to locate a document of interest?
Do you use Smart folders, or organize the files by 'hard' Finder folders?

Thanks for your info...
Paul, I have 5560 people in my one and only family file. I currently have only 848 sources and in the process of adding lots more. I have 1631 pdf files (bmd certificates, military records, census, etc). I also have 2426 individual letters which have been digitized.

Every PDF gets keywords added to it, and I also use the Note field in Preview to add a copy of the citation to the document. It's the same citation that shows up in Reunion as a source citation. If I ever share a single document with someone they have the citation included with the document.

I use Finder for everything. I can search on any keyword(s) and find everything related to that person or thing. I've also keyworded my 7000+ photographs so they're a snap to search also. Mostly I just use the plain search function but I have gone deeper and used the search functions of Smart Folders but I've never saved or maintained any Smart Folders. I like to keep things simple. All of the documents and letters, reports, etc are all in one big folder. I keep the photos in a separate folder but don't really need to.

Because of the keywords the filename doesn't really matter. Nor do I try to keep all of the records for one person contiguous. I just give them the next number available. With photos I copied the backs if there was writing on them so I have FOTO 00575 and FOTO 00575 Back, for example.

I hope this helps. It works for me.
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  #6  
Old 09 June 2017, 04:56 AM
Michael Talibard's Avatar
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Default Re: Scan& & Archive original documents

How to find a file? The files we are talking about looking for, of course, are occasionally text files of some sort, but much more frequently, they are images, because every hard copy document or photo is scanned.

There are two ways of finding such a file in your computer, whether for genealogy or for anything else. One is a search device such as Finder, the other is just to know where you put it (as in a wardrobe, socks are kept in the socks drawer). If you’re going to rely on Finder, you may need a more elaborate system of file-naming; or if you prefer the second method, you need a more elaborate set of folders. I think it’s best to do a bit of each.

Say, for example, that you have an image of a page of the 1851 Census of Hackney (in London UK). If you are me, you will give it a simple name that starts with Hackney51 (e.g. Hackney51b.jpg) and put it in its proper place before you ‘attach’ it in Reunion—but even if you attach it first and put it in its proper place afterwards, your Mac (and Reunion) will keep track of that.

What I mean by ‘proper place’ is a folder within a set of nested folders, like this: Genealogy> Documents> Census> 1851.

Once the image is appropriately ‘attached’ within Reunion, I only very rarely have to look for it by either method—by far my most usual route is just to click the little red number. But if I ever do have to find it outside of Reunion, either method will very quickly narrow the search to 2 or 3, or quite likely just one image.
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Old 09 June 2017, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Scan& & Archive original documents

Many years ago, I started a naming system which works well with finding documents either manually or using a Spotlight search. My system predates the ability to tag and continues to serve me well. I did lots of scanning years ago but in recent years I rarely print anything. I just print to PDF and file away.

The format is LastNameFirstName_Year_ShortDescription. Then everything is filed in folders named for family last names.

Examples:
BrightJuanita_1942_Engagement.pdf signifies a wedding engagement notice or news clipping for said person in the year 1942.

HolmanJoseph_1930_PasadenaCA.pfd is a 1930 census sheet from Pasadena on which he appears.

I do leave off the year for some documents where it is not needed. An example would be BarnesGeorge_WWIDraftReg.pdf. One can easily guess what document this is.

Since access to 99+% of these documents is needed occasionally or less, I do not link any of them with Reunion. My multimedia only contains people photos.
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  #8  
Old 12 June 2017, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: Scan& & Archive original documents

Bob and I are on the same page. Having had to switch operating systems twice (Mac to Windows and Windows to Mac) and switched genealogy software 5 or 6 times, I've learned not to rely on linkages to media. When you switch software they will be lost. Also, I want my digital files to be accessible by future genealogists - I send my genealogy to cousins on M-DISK DVDs in the hopes that they will be discovered someday by a budding genealogist in the family. I don't want my filing system to require that someone run a program which may not be available to them any more.

I have folders for each of my great grandparents. In each I have a SOURCES folder. In that I have my images and text files and PDFs named very similarly to Bob's method:

SURNAMEgivennamesYYYYtypeofrecordLocation

So...

WORTHWalterDyson1916BirthRecordPeterboroOntarioCan ada.jpg
WORTHWalterDyson1930CensusSanMarinoCA.jpg
WORTHWalterDyson1940CensusSanMarinoCA.jpg
WORTHWalterDysonWOODSBarbara1946MarriageRecordSout hPasadenaCA.jpg
etc.

I can find anything either by using the whole machine search (Spotlight search) or by sorting the SOURCES folder alphabetically.

I name my old photograph scans in the same way.

Don
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  #9  
Old 12 June 2017, 04:56 AM
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Default Re: Scan& & Archive original documents

The naming systems described by Bob and Don work for them, and I’m sure they are not going to change that now. So I will express my misgivings about their methods not to argue with them, but for those who may be reading this exchange of views early enough in the process that they are still choosing how to proceed.

Bob and Don seem to rely primarily on a system of naming files that one might call ‘surname-plus-extras’. The problem for me is that this misdescribes a large proportion of the files. It’s OK for a photo of one individual and maybe a birth record (ignoring the mother) but a group photo, a page of census, a marriage record, a trade directory, geographical locations and many others relate to multiple surnames or none, and it must often be a rather arbitrary choice which one to go with.

As I said in my previous post, I really think one must also have a system of folders, and my approach centres on that. I start by asking myself, what sort of thing is this? A newspaper clipping, a census page and a marriage certificate do not all belong in the same folder. It would be like mixing socks and shirts in the same drawer. Within each folder I then choose the locally most appropriate system of filenames. My people photos, and a few other things, are named and sub-foldered by surname, and there have been tricky choices to make in there, so I would not want to extend that problem any more widely.

I am astonished that Bob, whose advice on other matters I have often found so valuable, does not link his documents with Reunion. Why throw away such a valuable tool? I can read through what I have on person X, and the little red numbers keep saying “and this is how we know that bit.” Wonderful! And of course those multi-surname items, however you may have named and pigeon-holed them, can be linked to each and every relevant person.

Last edited by Michael Talibard; 12 June 2017 at 05:08 AM.
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  #10  
Old 12 June 2017, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Scan& & Archive original documents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Talibard View Post
My people photos, and a few other things, are named and sub-foldered by surname, and there have been tricky choices to make in there, so I would not want to extend that problem any more widely.
Michael, I am in the process of scanning my deceased parents photographs and would be very interested to learn how you organise your filing system for group photographs.
Thanks
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