Tuesday, October 30, 2012

21COFH - Item Level Inventory - Week 44

This week we are taking the organization of our family papers down to the item or folder level. This is something you may not want to do with all of your papers, especially if you have a lot. But for the ones you plan on working with in the future, this will come in handy and save you time looking.
So you are still working with the portion of your family papers from last week.
 
Some tips to keep in mind while preparing your item by item inventory:
  • Preserve the original order of the documents.
  • Using a spreadsheet or table format will allow you to re-sort your data later on. Although paper is perfectly fine too if that's what works best for you.
  • When preparing your inventory, think in terms of the information you might want to know when deciding which files to pull in the future.
Here's a sample of the inventory I did with Dad's correspondence.
 
 
By the way, I haven't labeled the folders yet. I am toying with labeling each folder with the Box Number/Name, Subject Category (Correspondence in this case) and then use a numerical folder number. An index sheet would be kept in the box.
 
Good luck! Let us know of any questions or comments in the comments section or in a post of your own. If you do your own post, let us know in the comments below. We all get great ideas from each other.

URL for this post: http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/2012/10/21cofh-item-level-inventory-week-44.html

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Family Papers Next Step...Continued - 21COFH

Last week, we went a little deeper into a select portion of family papers. I was working with Dad's correspondence from his childhood and early adult years. Due to a busy week, I didn't include comments for Step 4:
As you are doing these steps, it's a good idea to look at the documents to get an idea of what they are all about. The detail you wish to get into for these steps is totally up to you.

You may wish to do an item by item inventory and description. Or a more general inventory and description may suit you just fine. It depends on what you want to do with your collection long term.
 
This week I went with the general inventory and description. Since I will wish to work with these letters more in-depth in the future, next week I will do an item by item inventory and description. What we are doing is developing "finding aids" to help us locate things more easily in the future.

Here's the short blurb I wrote in OneNote:
Correspondence:
These letters are from Dad's childhood and early adult years. The letters are mostly to and from friends and family with a few items regarding Naval service. The years covered are 1933 through the early 1950s.

So, some of Dad's correspondence started out looking like this:

And ended up looking like this:


Next up is the item by item description.

URL for this post: http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/2012/10/family-papers-next-stepcontinued-21cofh.html

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Sunday, October 28, 2012

21COFH Returns Tuesday



The 21st Century Organized Family Historian will return on Tuesday. We've got some technical issues to get worked out.

Friday, October 26, 2012

There's Still Time to Get Your Flip-Pal Pink



As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Flip-Pal is offering a special "pink" bundle. It contains a Flip-Pal mobile scanner, a pink Deluxe Carry Case and a pink lid cover. The pink lid cover can be purchased separately also. There's still time to get yours.

The bundle is priced at $159.29 for October. It is normally $176.99. The lid cover can be purchased separately at $14.39.

Just go to the Flip-Pal site by clicking here. Over on the left side-bar, click on the emblem that says, "October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month." From there you can make your selection(s).



Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Flip-Pal. This means I receive a small amount of compensation for each sale generated from this blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely those of the blog owner. However, I will only endorse products or services that I believe, are worthy of such endorsement.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

21COFH - Family Papers Next Step - Week 43

Last week we worked up an overall arrangement for a collection of family papers (or a portion in my case since it's such a large collection). This week we are going to go a level deeper.

1.  Select a portion of your family papers.

Since I have several boxes, I decided to select Dad's correspondence from his early years through young adulthood. 
When these papers originally came into my possession, I moved them from the dusty, musty boxes they had spent several decades in to the current boxes. The papers were placed in file folders (non-archival) and loosely labeled as follows. At the time, I kept things together and just moved them from the old boxes to the new:
  • Correspondence 1933
  • Correspondence 1937-38
  • Letter to Mom 1938
  • Letter to Dad 1946
  • Correspondence family
  • Navy correspondence
  • Navy correspondence-personal
  • Correspondence 1945
  • Correspondence 1946
  • Letter home from Illinois 1946
  • Correspondence 1948
  • Correspondence received 1940s-1950s

2.  Go through each item, unfold and lay flat. Also remove any staples or rubber bands. Remove items from envelopes, if applicable. Place each item, letter or group of papers in it's own folder, if possible. You will have to use your own judgement on this step as to what makes sense for your situation and goals.
Since I'm working through Dad's correspondence, I placed each letter and envelope in it's own folder. The folders I used are thin, archival folders. Several of these can be placed inside a manilla folder.
 
Here's an example of the folders. For now I use sticky notes for labeling purposes until I'm ready to finalize. 

NOTE: If you're working with letters and don't wish to save the envelope, it would be a good idea to make note on the letter, of the following, in pencil. Use square brackets like this[ ] to denote your comments.
  • Names and addresses.
  • Postmark date and place.
  • Any other notations from the envelope you think might be important.

4. As you are doing these steps, it's a good idea to look at the documents to get an idea of what they are all about. The detail you wish to get into for these steps is totally up to you.

You may wish to do an item by item inventory and description. Or a more general inventory and description may suit you just fine. It depends on what you want to do with your collection long term.

 Since we have had a really busy weekend, I'm going to write up my comments for this step in a separate post in the next day or two. Stay tuned...


Next week we digitize.


URL for this post: http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/2012/10/21cofh-week-43.html

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, October 15, 2012

Flip-Pal's Family History Month Sale

If you were considering a Flip-Pal, there are some special offers available for the next few days. Just sayin'...

The following promotion codes are valid 12:00 a.m.–11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (-6 GMT) on their respective dates when ordered on our shop page.
Please place all items in your shopping cart first, before entering the promotion code!

October 15-18
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October 20-22
Save $15 when you purchase a Flip-Pal mobile scanner!
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No Promotion Code needed, just click on the link above!

Please note: these promotional codes cannot be used in conjunction with other promotion codes.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Flip-Pal. This means I receive a small amount of compensation for each sale generated from this blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely those of the blog owner. However, I will only endorse products or services that I believe, are worthy of such endorsement.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

21COFH - Family Papers Organization - Week 42

This week we are going to delve into family papers a little deeper. In week 40 we took an inventory. You can read what I did using OneNote. Last week we did a little filing to clean things up a bit. So this week, it's time to select a portion of the collection to work with in more depth.

My responses to this project are included in this post in italics.

  1. Using your inventory, select a portion of your collection to organize in more detail.
I selected the four boxes of Dad's papers.
 

2. If you haven't already, take a look at this group of papers, are there certain documents that are grouped together or should be? We need to be careful at this step not to disturb items that should be left together or that we are unsure of. More papers or information may turn up to help us organize those documents later on. For this step make notes.
Since I'm pretty familiar with Dad's life, organizing has been fairly easy. Dad's early years are what I need to be careful of. 
After looking through the files I had previously set up when Dad's papers came to me, I could see there were the following broad groupings:
  • Auto
  • Business
  • Childhood
  • Community, Civic
  • College
  • Correspondence
  • Financial
  • Health
  • Military
  • Real Estate
  • School
  • Travel
  • Yearbooks
  • Young Adult Years
The categories in bold are the ones I need to be careful of since I'm not as familiar with those portions of Dad's life and there isn't anyone around to ask. Correspondence is in bold only because most of Dad's correspondence is from the teen and early adult years.
 
3. Arrange the papers.
As I did this, I made notes on the category list from above as to which box(es) each category was placed in.
 
4. Label the box(es).
Each of the four boxes was labeled with Dad's name, his year of birth and death, and the box number.
 
5. Write up a short description of this collection or series of papers for your project notebook.
Mine included:
  • A very short biography of 3 or 4 sentences.
  • How it came into my possession.
  • The size (4 boxes) and where they are stored.
  • List of the categories from above and which box(es) each category is located in.
This project took about two hours to complete.

Next week we will go into more detail with one of the categories.

Remember to select something you can complete this week. It can be one box or even one file folder.

Tell us about your experience either in the comments or a post of your own (be sure to leave the url in the comments).
 
Good luck!


URL for this post: http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/2012/10/21cofh-week-42.html

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Flip-Pal & National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Flip-Pal "pink" bundle
As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Flip-Pal is offering a special "pink" bundle. It contains a Flip-Pal mobile scanner, a pink Deluxe Carry Case and a pink lid cover. The pink lid cover can be purchased separately also.

Here's the scoop. The bundle is priced at $159.29 for October. It is normally $176.99. The lid cover can be purchased separately at $14.39.

Just go to the Flip-Pal site by clicking here. Over on the left side-bar, click on the emblem that says, "October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month." From there you can make your selection(s).


Flip-Pal pink lid cover
 

Disclaimer:  I am an affiliate for Flip-Pal. This means I receive a small amount of compensation for each sale generated from this blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely those of the blog owner. However, I will only endorse products or services that I believe, are worthy of such endorsement.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

21COFH - The Dreaded F Word - Week 41

Filing. That's what we're doing this week. If you're like me your probably thinking, "Ick." It's one of those necessary evils.

There's any number of ways you can approach this week's project. Here are some suggestions:
  1. Tell yourself right now that skipping this week is not an option. Even if you only spend 5 or 10 minutes on it, that is still progress.
  2. Select one or more boxes, bags or other containers of family papers and move them to a more appropriate storage situation. This can be in archival material or just something that is better than the old dusty, musty boxes they are in right now. If you do this, please pay attention and try to keep things in their original order for now.
  3. Take that box or bag of papers that you know all about: who they belonged to, what they were for, when they were created. Integrate them into your currently well organized filing system. Don't have one yet? Now is a great time to start!
  4. How about that pile of papers from a previous research trip you never got around to putting away? This week is a great time to start.
Remember to update your project notebook with your accomplishments.

Questions? Comments?

Good luck!

URL for this post: http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/2012/10/21cofh-dreaded-f-word-week-41.html

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Family Papers Inventory - 21COFH

This was a project I needed to complete as much has been added to the family papers collection since I last took inventory. Boxes have been shuffled. More is being added all the time.

Using the photo inventory I set up in OneNote back in February, I made a few minor modifications to include documents.

Under the Inventories tab, I added my inventory of documents to my Inventory Form.



Under the Overview tab, I started a new page called Summary of Family Papers and wrote a short description similar to the one I did for the photo collections previously.



There you have it, easy-peezy. We now have expanded the usefulness of our "Project Notebook."

This post was written in response to Family Papers - Week 40.

URL for this post: http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/2012/10/family-papers-inventory-21cofh.html

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

21COFH - Family Papers - Week 40

Previously we have worked extensively with our family photos. This week we are going to begin looking at family papers. Remember the Project Notebook we set up way back in week 14? We will be adding to it.

This week we will take inventory of our family papers. Note: you may have done this in the week 5 project where we inventoried our photographs. If you did, then this week will be an easy one! At any rate the instructions are very similar to the photo inventory.

The level of detail for this activity should depend upon the time you have available this week and the extent of your physical collection of papers. It’s better to have a very general, short inventory than none at all!

Suggested steps to follow:

1. Move in an organized, methodical fashion. One suggestion is to go room by room, moving clockwise around the room.

2. Note each box, album (or groups of), pile or other unit of storage. You could describe the box (red shoe box) or you could number your boxes.

3. When looking at the contents, make note of:

a.    General provenance – who’s papers were they, how did they come to be in your possession? If there is any additional background, this is a good time to note it.

b.    Surname(s) included in the box.

c.    General time frame and subject matter.

d.    Format, size ranges and quantity. This will be helpful if you need to order archival storage supplies.

e.     Note concerns and items needing attention, rescue, or other triage such as folded brittle papers.

f.     Other items such as address books, heirloom items, etc. Often when someone’s home gets packed up, different types of objects get tossed together in the same box.

g.     Anything else you consider important.

4. If you have a lot of papers, you might want to move boxes to your work area as you inventory and then return them to their original location.

5. Please remember, if you remove items from boxes, it’s important to keep things in their original order.

After completing the inventory, you will be more familiar with your collection. Write a paragraph generally describing the collection and keep it with the inventory. Consider including:

· When and who you received the papers from.

· If there were previous owners or other history, mention it.

· Where the collection is located now.

· Size of the collection.

· Mini collections within your overall collection.
 
Tell us about your inventory experience, the format you used and, if you want, share your paragraph. You can do so either in the comments or a post of your own (be sure to leave the url in the comments).

Good luck and remember to keep this project to what you can complete this week.
URL for this post: http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/2012/10/21cofh-family-papers-week-40.html

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum