Recorded personal memories - avoiding loss
In today's uncertain world, when a disaster could strike at any time, those of us who have amassed a collection of notes, documents, photos, and perhaps even recordings and historical items, must take steps to insure their safe survival.
I learned this lesson the hard way a couple of years after I began my genealogical journey.
My uncle who, at the time, was dying of cancer, agreed to tape record as much info about the family as he could remember. He dutifully sent me a cassett tape about once a week for several months. I soon had quite a collection. David Miller (my uncle) had been a prize winning journalist, so he was very good at including trackable details and often included substantiating documents.
Oh, I was very careful to store the tapes in a cool, dry place and to preserve all the documents. But....
One day a tornado came through and it left a muddy, tumble of destroyed tapes (and a lot of ruined photos) behind. Imagine my horror and distress. A lifetime of memories gone, irreplacable as Uncle David was now gone. But...
The genealogy gods smiled because I had dilligently transcribed each and every tape and stored the transcriptions in a different form and in a seperate place. Although I can no longer listen to my Uncle tell his stories, at least I still have the stories, written down and ready to share.
That tornado taught me the importance of planning and copy. I hope none of you ever faces loosing your priceless records, but to insure the information they contain continues on, PLEASE, make backup copies of notes, digital copies of photos and tapes, and store them somewhere other than with the originals. Your research is priceless and future generations will applaude you for passing down the family traditions.
For help and information on preserving paper documents go to
Preserving my Heritage
For information on preserving photos see Expert Give Tips for preserving photos
You can also find out about preserving sounds from
Library of Congress-Preservation
Good luck with your research
on 2006-06-25 15:49:07
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