Ruth's Genealogy

“I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” -Abraham Lincoln

bites As of 2:19 PM (CST) today, my Surname folder contains 10,432 files, 552 folders, 5.14 GB… Wow!, that’s a lot of genealogical images collected over the years!

10,432 files and probably 95% or greater are images: original digital photos, scanned photos and documents and images downloaded from the Internet. Lots of census pages. Lots of census pages!

Most of the census pages are at their original sizes or only slightly smaller. Shrink ‘em down too much and they’re not readable. Some (many!) are almost unreadable at full size!

Why, oh why, weren’t census takers of old required to pass a handwriting exam?

Anyway, I have everything backed up (Of course! Doesn’t everyone?) on an external hard drive, a USB drive and now my new iPod Touch. Even a few CD’s. All are spread out in different locations, so I feel like my data is about as safe as it’s ever gonna be.

But what I really want is to have a location online, easy for me to manage and easy for anyone who is interested to be able to view and download anything that might be pertinent to their own family history researchings. Pretty much, I am willing to share any genealogical data that I have gathered. What’s the point of keeping it all locked up and inaccessible?

As I have my own website and self-hosted WordPress blog, I am able to set up a part of that site for images, which I did using the open-source Zenphoto program (actually the nice guys at my hosting company set it up). Zenphoto works well enough, but I was just never totally pleased with it. Then a couple of weeks ago the Zenphoto folks announced that they would no longer provide free support for their product and shut down the Users Forum. That was enough to convince me to look for another solution.

In the past I have used Flickr, but again wasn’t really happy with it. And I have also used Google’s Picasa on my hard drive and Picasa Web Albums to display my images. Then I tried Zenphoto.

What to do now? Stop being so finicky would be a good start!

Ok, so I’m back to Picasa Web Albums. 1 GB free storage, upgradeable to 20 GB for $5/yr. Considering that I only have a little over 5 GB of images on my hard drive, I can’t think of anything much cheaper than that!

I have created a link from my website to my Picasa Web Albums page and am in the process of uploading 14,432 image files to it. I’ll never be bored again!

3 thoughts on “Monday Madness, or “What am I supposed to do with all these pictures!”

  1. You’ve done some really interesting things with Picasa Web Albums and Scribd Documents. I’ve got thousands of images myself (including Census) and it is a struggle to keep things organized. You’ve got some really good things here. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Ruth says:

    Hi Theresa!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    I sometimes think I’m too organized (even a bit anal at times!) I think you gotta have a least a basic plan or the images just take over!

    Interesting that you don’t save everything in its original form. Especially census records. I don’t know how many times I’ve come back to a census sheet and suddenly found something important that I had previously overlooked, something that I could only see by looking at the original document, not my transcribed copy. But… 10,000+ images can certainly take on lives of their own… I just feel that to adequately source something, I gotta have the original! Or at least as close as possible.

    I certainly agree with your pet peeve: a tree without sources is just a waste of ink… or pixels!

    Have a great day!


  3. T.Casteel says:

    It sounds like you are much more organized than me. I have decided to not keep images of ‘everything’ – only unique documents, rare images, and all photos. For census records I record all information in my source including where I viewed it so I can easliy find it again to look at neighbors etc… I back all images up on my laptop & desktop computers plus a jump drive.
    I agree with sharing all genealogy info. I have everything including sources on rootsweb world connect – a free service so anyone can view it without subscription issues. It has provided me with wonderful connections and stories that would bring tears of happiness to most 😉
    My pet peave – someone who posts their tree without any sources!
    Good luck in your continued research!
    Regards, Theresa (Tangled Trees)


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