Sunday, January 8, 2012

21COFH - 21 Resources for Organizing the Family Archive

For our bonus discussion this week, I've prepared a list of 21 of my favorite resources for organizing the family archive. This was really hard because there's way more than 21 resources that are my favorites!


  1. FlipPal
  2. Fujitsu ScanSnap
  3. Magic Wand hand scanner
  4. Flatbed scanner
  5. Digital Camera

Software & Apps

  1. Evernote
  2. Microsoft Word (or your favorite word processor)
  3. Microsoft Excel (or your favorite spreadsheet)
  4. Microsoft OneNote
  5. Android - CamScanner


  1. Denise Levenick's Family Tree University Webinar, Organize Your Family Archive. Denise is also writing a book on the same topic so watch for it around June 2012.
  2. Sally Jacobs is the Practical Archivist. Her classes, Joy of Organizing Photos and Photo Savers were excellent.


  1. Taylor, Maureen A.  Preserving Your Family Photographs. Cincinatti, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2001.
  2. Sturdevant, Katherine Scott . Organizing & Preserving Your Heirloom Documents. Cincinatti, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2002.
  3. David W. Carmicheal, Organizing Archival Records: A Practical Method of Arrangement & Description for Small Archives, Second Edition. Lanham, MD: Altamira Press, 2004.
  4. Mannon, Melissa. The Unofficial Family Archivist: A Guide for Creating and Maintaining Family Papers, Photographs, and Memorabilia. 2011.

Blogs, Podcasts and Videos

  1. Sassy Jane Genealogy blog regularly has helpful advice and points me to very helpful resources including #18...
  2. Library of Congress, Personal Archiving.
  3. Dear Myrtle's Organizing Checklists are very helpful.
  4. Genealogy Gems Podcast and Youtube video, Organize Your Hard Drive. Also her two part podcast Family History Episode 32: Genealogical Hard Drive Organization and Part 2.

  1. Archival Suppliers: Gaylord is my favorite right now but there are a number of good ones out there. Having had a bad experiences with one supplier (Light Impressions) in the past, I don't want to name any that I haven't used.

Bonus Resource: You, my Wonderful Readers! What tools and resources do you recommend?

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated or associated in any way with the above listed products. They were all purchased with my hard earned money or were free to begin with (in the case of the blogs). Also, I linked some of the above products to for simplicity. I am not affiliated with Amazon and there are plenty of other places to obtain those products.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Such a list. It's a tall order selecting 21 of them.

  2. Since you mentioned digital camera on this list, do you have one (or two or three) that you would recommend in particular? (Not that I'm thinking of asking for a new camera next Christmas or anything....) BTW, I copied this entire article onto a Word (well, actually Pages) document - really great summary!

  3. Greta, Thanks!

    I have a Canon Rebel T1i. There are newer models as I have had this camera for, least 2 years. Maybe 3. I have 2 lenses: an 18-55mm and a 55-250mm. Sometimes I wish I had a wider angle lense but these two work beautifully for most situations.

    Don't wait until next Christmas... ;)

  4. I have used Hollinger for my archival supplies and really like them. (I am not affliated in any way with them, just a consumer.)

  5. I have had another look at your list. Some really good information here, especially the books. Thanks for sharing those.

    My offering is here -

  6. Thanks so much for this. I have a lot of catching up to do, it seems. So many great tools to learn about.

  7. You are working hard! Love this list! Again, I also have catching up to do! You are going to be the organized queen!

  8. Thanks for sharing this list. Like you, I am a big fan of Sassy Jane Genealogy (one of two blogs I highlighted in my first post in the '52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy' series). I also mentioned the e-book Sassy Jane's Guide to Organizing Your Genealogical Research Using Archival Principles, which I find very helpful.

    1. Judy, I'm glad you mentioned Sassy Jane's Guide to Organizing. I have been eyeing it myself! Nancy is a wealth of practical information.

  9. Thanks for the shout-out, Michelle. I agree with everything on your list, and picked up a few new ideas here too.

    1. You're welcome, Denise. Keep working on that book. June can't come fast enough as far as I'm concerned!

  10. I've used Hollinger also. I've ordered archival supplies from them for work (we have to use archival quality boxes, poly bags, etc. for artifacts).