19: Coming to grips with FamilySearch, WEA Centre Adelaide 10:00am to 1:00pm
28: Genealogy on the Web (starts 12:30pm) and The new FamilySearch website (start 2:30pm) Mt
Barker Library The afternoon concludes at 4:30.
29: Introduction to FH research (over 7 weeks
with sessions of 1.5 hrs each), WEA Centre Adelaide, 8:00 to 9:30pm
3: Family history on the Web, WEA Centre Adelaide, 10:00am to 1:00pm
17: Goodbye IGI, Fleurieu Peninsula Family
History Group, 2:00 to 3:00pm
25: Coming to grips with FamilySearch, WEA Centre Adelaide, 10:00am to 1:00pm
27: Now who could that be? Sorting 19th century
photographs, 13th Congress 4:00 to 6:00pm
28:Gentlemen’s mansions and Manning houses
(walk), 13th Congress 2:35 to 4:35pm
29:Manifests and embarkation lists—these
are two of my favourite things, 13th Congress 4:00 to 6:00pm
30: A storm in a teacup; there’s no room
for Irish orphans in Australia, 13th Congress 2:35 to 4:35pm.
See the seminar program
for more details and bookings.
13th Congress in Adelaide
Adelaide Proformat is a sponsor of the 13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry to be held at the Convention Centre 27–31 March. The Congress has a great line up of speakers on a great range of topics. Participants and the general public can visit the associated exhibition. Graham Jaunay will be offering free advice on how to tackle research problems at various times at the exhibition.
13th Congress in Adelaide
Organising your family history records
Glandore SA 5037
Tel: +61 8 8371 4465
• Drafting charts
• Locating documents
• Seminar presentations
• Writing & publishing
• SA lookup service
• Ship paintings
Adelaide Proformat uses
Genealogist - for UK census, BMD indexes and more online simply because it contains quality data checked by experts.
Proformat News acknowledges the support by
| Organising your family history records
will collect a multitude of documents, artefacts and photographs of
all shapes and sizes.
The worth of each item needs to be assessed to determine how it is
to be appropriately stored.
Preservation should be reserved for the unique materials in the first
instance and if you are operating on a limited budget. It
is important that you arrange safe storage of your material. You need
• family documentation
• research notes
This can be quite an expensive exercise and you may need to weigh
up the value of the item against the cost of storage. While a birth
certificate can be replaced—a photograph or its negative may
be unique. Clearly irreplaceable items need more consideration.
Devise a storage system that will suit your needs but accommodate
1. In setting up a system consider:
• conservation aspect of materials
• potential growth in volume of material
• the range of shapes and sizes of material
2. If you use a computer, consider the importance of backing up your
data. You may still need a hard copy when away from your machine unless
you invest in a lap top or pad machine. You will still need to store
documents, photos and photocopies even if you invest in a scanner.
When buying family history software, consider the potential growth
of your collection and buy a program that will accommodate your potential
3. Storage items used:
• filing cabinets, tote boxes, cupboards and
• A5, A4 and A3 binders with plastic insert
sheets (some will need to be of archival standard
for irreplaceable items)
• manila folders
• Postpak tubes
• acid free photo albums
• archive boxes
Albox is an excellent
source for archival storage.
Preserving your records
Ideally photographs should be stored in archival albums that will
not cause them to deteriorate. If you are fortunate enough to have
a nineteenth century album in your possession it may be appropriate
to leave the photographs in situ. They have
lasted all this time intact and should continue to do so. If you have
precious photographs stored in modern albums under self-sticking plastic—remove
them at once. Likewise photos in plastic-sleeve albums purchased from
the supermarket should be removed! Purchase an archival photo album
from Albox. If you decide to use sleeves to store the photographs,
they must be a snug fit. Mounting on acid free board using archival
glue is often the better option when appropriate sleeves cannot be
While recording your photographs take the opportunity to label them
on the back. Use a soft pencil for older cardboard backed photographs.
Use a special pen for modern photos or preferably attach an acid-free
sticker. On the back of each photo record the known details—do
not make any guesses—an error could be perpetuated forever!
Record—names, place and date of photograph. Number your photographs
for a photo index and enter the details in the notes sections of your
family charts for quick reference. Cross reference them to the persons
in your pedigree index by using the same number. (See newsletter #70)
Arthur McCorkell solicitor of Londonderry about
For much more information on photographs including ways to identify
and date them see, Graham Jaunay; Solving riddles in 19th century
photo albums available from Unlock
There are four major causes of photographic deterioration—environmental,
chemical, physical and biological.
• Environmental deterioration is usually the result
of excessive humidity and/or extremes in temperature and is demonstrated
with curled prints, mould, fungus, foxing (blotchy, reddish-brown
stains on prints or mounts), negatives sticking to containers or
each other and photos sticking to glass frames. High pollution exists
in areas where paints, printing inks, lacquers, enamels, varnishes
and cosmetics are being used. Near the seacoast, very small amounts
of air borne salts may infiltrate into storage areas which not only
accelerates chemical degradation, but also encourages the growth
• Chemical degradation is frequently observed as
image fading, discolouration and stains. Photographs will turn a
yellowish-brown with inadequate processing techniques. Early photographers
were not aware of the consequences of inadequate processing and
they did not have the monitoring devices we have today.
• Physical deterioration is most prevalent in photographs
that have been poorly stored. Some examples of physical deterioration
are holes, scratches and spots that are caused from the abrasion
of one material against another. Brittle matte board or photographs
can snap and create losses in the image area. Glass plates when
not handled properly can chip or break. Water can destroy a photograph.
• Biological deterioration results because materials
contain ingredients such as gelatine and cellulose in paper that
are attractive to insects and rodents.
papers and artifacts
Irreplaceable documents and papers should be treated like photographs
and stored carefully and preferably flat. While there are archival
albums for photographs, there are fewer such products available commercially
for documents and the like. Start by purchasing an A4 and A3 binder
with at least three rings to hold the material firmly. (Ideally four
ring binders are better but the writer has yet to see an A3 version.)
Secondly purchase a range of good quality archival, or at least PVC
free, sheet protectors. Include a few A5 and A3 sizes for the smaller
and larger valued items. For the easily replaced material and documents,
cheaper supermarket sheet protectors are adequate although do try
to avoid those hard plastic versions because they are PVC.
Wine bottle label
Larger items such as old Wills and maps are best stored safely rolled
in tubes such as Postpaks. Postpaks are not acid
free but in over thirty years the writer has not noted any problems
with these as storage containers.
Any material already folded should be opened out and stored flat or
rolled. Creases in paper are the first sites for irreparable damage
Having an extensive collection of records and artifacts is one thing
but apart from storing them appropriately—can you readily find
them when you want them?
Carefully number each document or item in a consistent place in soft
pencil and record that number on the appropriate Family Chart next
to the matching event so that it can be quickly found in the future.
Next file the document in the right sized binder behind its appropriate
Family Chart. If the document or item cannot fit in the binder then
an appropriately annotated note detailing its location should be in
the binder. For example one of my items is a silver chalice—it
cannot be stored in a binder but a note indicating where the item
is stored is appropriate. In fact the writer extends this process
to material held by other members of the family.
Do not forget about your research notes be they in exercise books,
loose sheets or on your computer as they represent all your hard work.
They should not be undervalued and need a good index which will prove
invaluable if you ever have to go back over material to find something
you might have overlooked or need to revisit.
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