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

Friday, January 14, 2011

Caretaker of the Record -- Barry Ewell presenter at RootsTech

In talking to Barry J. Ewell who will be presenting at the upcoming RootsTech Conference, the one phrase that stuck in my mind was "Caretaker of the Record." He used that phrase in conjunction with an extensive discussion about digital preservation of family records which will be the subject of his presentation entitled, "Digitally Preserving Your Family Heritage."

Barry is a writer and researcher with extensive genealogical experience in field research, oral and written histories, using the web, computer and digital resources. His approach to the challenge of digitizing is all encompassing. He seems to think in terms of a project flowchart with waypoints and branching alternatives. Obviously with such a large area of interest, he will not cover everything in depth, but in conjunction with his presentation, which is scheduled for Thursday at 3:00 pm, he is offering all those who attend his class (and those who read my post) a 100+ page discussion of the topic in more depth. He indicated that anyone wanting the publication should E-mail him at with the word "RootsTech" in the subject line and he would send them a link to download the publication after the Conference.

It seems that both Barry and I have lot in common in the digitizing area. Both of us apparently have a huge pile of family records of all types to digitize and have spent years with films, slides, photos and even actual objects. He asked a very interesting question. He said, "Before you digitize anything, what are you going to do with it? The issue he raises illustrates that the digitized end product is determined by the method you chose to do preserve the item, i.e. photo etc. The example he gave is thinking how you are going to use digitized photos will determine the file format, .jpeg or .tiff, and the resolution. If you digitize a photo as a JPEG and then discover that you need TIFF files, you will have work to do over.

I think he had a lot of good ideas and can recommend his class. 

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