Digital archiving is a hot topic for genealogists these days. Digitizing our family documents, photographs and other artifacts is one more way to help us preserve and share our heritage. Well, the Library of Congress wants to help us out! It has published a free e-book, Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving.

Digital archiving ebookScroll through the table of contents and you’ll see immediately why this book is valuable to family historians. There are lots of how-tos on preserving photos and other images: what file formats to use, cloud storage, adding digital captions, image resolution and more. There are sections on how everyday people are preserving their own digital archives.  There’s even a great chapter on making sure your digital files live on after you pass away.

There’s an entire chapter on digitizing for the family historian. It gets to the heart of a genealogist’s file organization and storage needs: “Digital genealogy could result in a heap of text files (such as GEDCom files), image scans (most sites enable you to save an image in either JPEG, TIFF or PDF formats), audio files and video files. It’s best to follow the Library of Congress’s personal archiving advice, which is basically to:

1) organize everything within one collection folder
2) backup your collection onto several storage media in several different places
3) migrate your collection every five years or so to new storage media.

Don’t trust that a third-party genealogy service will always remain in business and keep your stuff safe forever. You should have your own copy handy and another copy backed up somewhere else.”

Great advice! Check out the entire book for yourself. And thanks to GenealogyBlog authors Leland and Patty Meitzler who blogged about this new e-book on their site.

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