Saturday, July 31, 2010


Besides his warnings about records access and threats to record
preservation, Curt B, Witcher spoke about how the electronic
age has changed genealogy records on a personal level, citing the
decline of old fashioned letter writing as an example. He also
pointed out emails are part of a family's living history that should
be preserved. He made the following suggestions:

"To counteract the trend, Witcher encouraged people to write. "Write as 
you never have written before." This writing can be about memories, 
describing a family photograph or center on themes such as a family's rituals.

After something is written, Witcher said to share it with others. Otherwise, 
he said "many of those precious pieces of living history go into landfills."

Witcher said to publish — locally to family or even on a website such as Just be careful with personal information of living individuals. 
The object is to create a record that will be there for descendants."

Now we geneabloggers have been doing this for sometime now.

But Mr Witcher's remarks have been food for thought for me as to
what else I can do. I can post more about my personal memories.
and about when and where a photograph was taken. I can keep a
paper copy of my posts (well maybe not the silly ones) along with
the copies on cds, For all we know, some new technology could
come along to replace computers, so a paper record of my posts
might actually outlast the cds .

I'm considering putting my posts into book form, using a program
such as Blurb. And I'd like to bwecome proficient enough to
perhaps write an article on my West ancestors good enough for
publication for the NEGHS magazines or for inclusion in their

As I said in the first post about Mr Witcher's speech as reported
by Michael De Groote, it's generated a lot of discussion.Whether
you agree or not about an approaching genealogical Dark Ages,
it certainly has made me for one think seriously about the state
of genealogical and historical preservation today, and about
what I could and should be doing about it.


Heather Rojo said...

Go ahead with a Blurb project! Everyone seems to be having fun with the software, and even my technologically challenged friends are finding it easy (you seem to be capable in that department!) It is amazingly satisfying to see yourself in print! Kind of the same feeling you had the first time you posted to your blog!

Karen said...

In the 15 years I've been earnestly working on my genealogy, it has gotten significantly harder in some states to get vital records, even on people long dead. It's hard to imagine what research will be like in 10 more years...