Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Digitizing Life

I probably decided that one of the major functions of my life was to act as a private record repository when my great-grandmother's records showed up in my living room. For years I had heard about my great-grandmother's extensive genealogical research. Many trips to the Salt Lake Family History Library had proved fruitless in finding her "extensive records."

One day my mother asked me if I was interested in obtaining some family records from my Aunt in Salt Lake? Since few of the family members I knew had any interest in genealogy, I said sure, I would take all the records. Eventually, four large boxes of records showed up in my front room and I began a life-long project. I decided to scan the entire collection of records.

Little did I realize how much work that was going to entail. I spent thousands of hours organizing her life's work and scanning each document into a computer file. I you would like to see the results, the collection is on the Family History Library computer database. The collection is described as:
Family history collection of Mary Ann Linton Morgan who was born 11 February 1865 in Nephi, Juab, Utah. Her parents were Samuel Linton (1828-1916) and Ellen Sutton (1832-1909). She married John Hamilton Morgan, son of Garrard Morgan III (1806-1889) and Eliza Ann Hamilton (1815-1901), 7 June 1888 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had three children. John died 14 August 1894 in Preston, Oneida, Idaho. Mary died 16 March 1951 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ancestors, relatives and descendants have lived mainly in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, New York, Arizona, Idaho and Utah.
However, that is just the beginning. Whole collections of other relative's records showed up at my door, tens of thousands of pages of documents, journals, photographs, letters, books, paper without end. I went from using a flat bed scanner (too slow) to using a high resolution digital camera on a camera copy stand (still too slow) to using a Canon High Speed Digital Scanner, now finally getting fast enough to make a dent in the pile.

Fortunately, the pile is still growing faster than my ability to scan. As of the latest count, I had 28,017 images and photos on my iMac and another 146 MB of scans and photos on a PC, probably around 40,000 images, so far. With the Canon Scanner, I will likely add another thousand or so scans a month to the collection.

If I have to explain why I am doing all this you wouldn't understand anyway.

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