Today sees the fifth in my series of Society Spotlight posts, and the final question that I posed to the three history societies.
It tackles the big question, that will help ensure that a Society and its members leave a lasting legacy to their community or the history that they work so hard to preserve, avoiding the fate seen by the Cross Family History Society:
‘How does a society plan to preserve its knowledge for the future?’
As all family historians, professional genealogists, and organisations know, if you’re going to invest your time in researching and creating records or filling databases with data, then you need to know that what you’re spending your hours doing, will actually survive into tomorrow, next year, and further beyond.
Where once keeping meticulous paper copies sounded like a good idea, it moved on to formats like microfiche, film, cd-roms, GEDCOM, and more recently that mystical place called ‘The Cloud’, but all of them have pros and cons, so what plans do the Societies have to preserve their work and leave a legacy?
Here’s their answers…
“Many societies, including the Society of Genealogists, are always receiving new materials that are in the process of being preserved. Digitization of original documents makes genealogical materials easily accessible to people who simply can’t come to the Society. Digitization and preservation are also important for the future of a society in the case of a natural disaster. Coincidentally, Dick Eastman’s blog Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter recently published an article on 2 July 2013 concerning a society affected by the Southern Alberta flooding disaster.”
“Understanding the concerns of natural disaster, the society had all of their society’s family history backed up in a cloud storage system, which protected their information from disaster. Societies are constantly storing, backing up, and protecting their data that will preserve information for the future through technology.”
“By reaching out to a new generation of genealogists, societies will be able to preserve their future. Younger people have interest in their own genealogy, and societies are reaching out to those individuals through lectures and social networking to help preserve and continue the work that the society holds most valuable.”
Robert Newman, The Newman Name Society
“Our archive will probably be placed in the Guild Of One-Name Studies (GOONS) archive.”
Lisa Newman, The Cambridgeshire Family History Society
“Other than continuing to adapt to new technologies and platforms and by encouraging interest in the Society so that we can engage new members to join the Committee to keep doing the good work that has gone before.”
Do you have a plan?
What are your own plans for preserving your research for a future generation? Do you have a plan? Or are you now beginning to wonder what might become of it? Leave me a comment below, or over at the Geneabloggers LinkedIn group.