We talked before about how to incorporate emails with unique family history information into your FHnotebook. The value of consistently and constantly gathering new information about your family history cannot be undersold. This week, we’ll talk about ways to add personal papers—such as letters, notes, lists, cards, etc.—to your FHnotebook.
Personal papers could refer to any piece of paper that has factual information, personal thoughts, or sentimental value in it—so basically any piece of paper that interests you or could interest your family! There are a few ways to digitize your personal papers and add them to your FHnotebook.
- Adding to a desktop computer: If you have access to a scanner, you can scan your personal papers. By scanning the papers, you can access them locally on your computer and anywhere from your FHnotebook account (where the information is backed up on our servers, safe from any kind of data loss).
- Adding to a smartphone or tablet: Using FHmedia, you can photograph any paper and upload it to your FHnotebook. Your files are immediately available anywhere from FHnotebook.
Once you’ve digitized your personal papers, you can organize them into their respective notebooks. No longer are you stuck sorting through piles of papers trying to find the one you’re looking for. And you can actually sort the papers in a way that ensures you won’t lose any of the papers: not only can you sort by notebook, but you can add category tags that will help you categorize each paper in every way possible.
Especially if the papers are short, it’s easy to transcribe the content of each scan or photo into the attached note area for each file. By transcribing, you not only ensure that the content can be read by everybody who views it, but you make the paper searchable within your account.
Need more help deciding where to find personal papers worth saving?
Your Generation: Look for papers you’ve written—even grocery lists could be interesting to future generations. Notes you write to yourself or others can give people insight into your life. Also, save papers from your siblings, like birthday cards, thank you notes, letters, etc. Something you consider silly may be treasured by your children and grandchildren.
Your Parents’ Generation: Think of all the information you wish you had from your grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Start gathering information about your parents. You can provide a wealth of family history knowledge for your generation and future generations. Personal papers from aunts and uncles are valuable, too. Remember that sharing research is becoming so much easier, and relatives and other genealogists will love having access to any information you can share.
Previous Generations: Since information from previous generations is so scarce compared to information available on those alive during the digital age, it is important to collect and save any personal papers you have from your grandparents, their parents, etc. Preserving these items digitally will ensure they last longer.
If you have any other tips for preserving personal papers for genealogical research, leave them in the comments.
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