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Using the Digital Library for Family History Research

RootsTech is one of the largest family history conferences in the world, and we are lucky to have this conference hosted in Salt Lake City each year. I had the privilege of teaching three classes at RootsTech this year (February 27-March 2, 2019) to help show off some of the collections and resources at the Marriott Library as well as many other institutions around the state and country.

Information from the three classes that I taught is below, including links to the slides used in the classes:

5 Photo Scanning Tips

Abstract: Do you have photographs that you want to digitize for either online access or long-term preservation? Learn five tips to help you scan your families photos and uncover the mysteries of things such as resolution, bit depth, file formats, and more.

Discovering Your Family in Digital Libraries

Abstract: Photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, oral histories, and other items relating to our ancestors are stored within many different libraries, archives, and museums around the world. During this session, tips and tricks for finding these resources will be shared to help discover more information about your family’s past. While some of these collections may be difficult to view without visiting the library in person, there are many options for gaining access to this type of information through digital libraries and other online methods so you don’t have to always travel to remote locations. This session will discuss some of the options for discovering this information about our ancestors through portals such as the Digital Public Library of America, Chronicling America, Mountain West Digital Library, and other free online resources. We will also look at different options for discovering and getting access to archival content about our ancestors that is not currently available online.

Personal Digital Archiving

Abstract: Many people collect a lot of physical and digital information related to themselves, their immediate family, and their ancestors. Handling this vast amount of information can be a daunting task and present many challenges with determining what we should do with all of our “stuff.” A common task among genealogists is to digitize this type of content, but then what happens after it is digital? This presentation will talk about different methods for digitally archiving our personal content to make sure that this content lasts for many generations. Tools and methods for digitizing content are becoming more readily available, but they will not help us unless we are prepared to handle large amounts of data. We will discuss several useful tools that are available at little to no cost for digitizing, describing, and preserving our personal digital content. By completing the task of personal digital archiving today, our descendants will praise our names for many generations!

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