21st Century Organised Family Historian – Week 5 – Take Inventory

Continuing the weekly thread organised by Michelle at The Turning of Generations

A few years ago, my Grandfather’s first cousin lent me a series of photographs, about 30 in all. My first plan was to arrange for a negative to be made and a copy. Having collected the negatives and copies we sat together over a pot of tea and Ivy went through all the details of who the individuals were. Each photo had a small sticker replaced on the reverse of the photo with the details of Ivy’s initials and the number of the photograph – IS01 – IS31. I then created a spreadsheet with the details of the photographs taken from the notes I made of our conversation together. The photographs themselves are in a separate album. 

The photo here shows the reverse of photo IS12 and the front of IS13.

Now we are in a far superior digital age, I have had the photographs digitalised and they retain the same number. Over the last few years I have scanned all our family photos and given each a reference based upon who have the source is and a reference number. Thus, those with from my father in law have the reference of DG followed by a number.  I should add that in the spreadsheet there is a reference as to who DG and IS were, sadly both are now deceased. Photos that came through my own family – either Mum or Grandparents are simply numbers from 01 upwards.

I also do something similar for copies of documents sent to me by fellow genealogists or those documents and books I have purchased. The only exception is that instead of a sticker being added I insert a piece of paper into the front of the book and write in small archive pencil a reference. That reference is then transferred to my spreadsheet. For documents I small note in pencil on the reverse and then added to the spreadsheet.

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2 Responses to 21st Century Organised Family Historian – Week 5 – Take Inventory

  1. I'm in awe of your organisation of photos not just in the digital age but before. Congratulations and may it long continue.


  2. Ditto what Pauleen says!

    I like that you have incorporated your original organizational scheme into your computerized/digitized system. Spreadsheets do seem to be the way to go with projects like these done they.


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