Friday, 3 February 2012

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.


  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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