After spending nearly the entire summer on this project, I think I am beginning to get a grasp of the problem, and it isn't pretty. Just when I think I have determined a good system for filing the AAK Papers, I realize that I need more information about someone named in a letter. Then, off I go to track them down in a Census record or online search, and pretty soon my desk is covered in more paper without a home.
I have at least two projects here: 1) Family Genealogy -- who, related to whom, etc; 2) A Biography or Family History -- the AAK Papers to inventory, archive, transcribe, and work with.
Project #1 -- generates a mass of paper: census copies and extracts, notes, original and copies of vitals from the AAK papers
Project #2 -- consists of all original documents needing archival attention NOW
Most genealogy books for beginners seem to address a project from the perspective of #1, with #2 as a sideline. I have come into the Family Genealogy Project through the Biographical Project, so my needs are somewhat different.
Funny how it has taken me over two months to figure out how to approach this. But I suppose I shouldn't be too disappointed -- my goal this summer was to investigate and select a research method, test it, and start using it. Progress thus far:
- Update Legacy, review sourcing guidelines
- Start Blog as a Journal of my project
- Join Legacy Users Group, learned more about sourcing, filing, etc
- Decide to scan all original documents
- buy new scanner
- decide on file format
- Investigate database programs
- test byGones
- test Clooz
- test askSam
- build entry forms in askSam
- buy askSam
- revise entry forms
- decide to use very simple DocumentArchive form
- add fields for Entry Date, Place letter written from
- will try scanning documents, linking to docs in folder located in askSam directory folder
- Investigate and decide on file format for images
- TIFF for photos
- why not PDF for letters?
- Determine Workflow for handling documents