Moving Forward

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 4: Mov­ing Forward

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

We have described the His­to­rian Archives passed down to us from Bob Strong, our for­mer SFAA His­to­rian. We have sev­eral fil­ing cab­i­nets full of paper records, notes, and other genealog­i­cal infor­ma­tion. We dis­cussed cre­at­ing an online Dig­i­tal Library cat­a­log, as a means of let­ting peo­ple know what we have.

The His­to­rian Archives also include thou­sands upon thou­sands of com­puter files. These files con­tain the Strong Updates man­u­scripts, addi­tional Update books in progress, and other col­lected and sub­mit­ted infor­ma­tion. We also have var­i­ous name indexes and other records. The amount of infor­ma­tion we have is actu­ally quite staggering!

In Part 3, we explained that cat­a­loging and pre­serv­ing the His­to­rian Archives is merely a first step, and not ter­ri­bly inter­est­ing in itself. Part 1 does have a tan­gi­ble result – an online dig­i­tal library with pho­tographs, fam­ily albums, and a cat­a­log of the infor­ma­tion we have hid­den away in the His­to­rian Archives.

Now, mov­ing for­ward, let’s sug­gest what we could do as a next step. This is just an idea of mine; it hasn’t been decided or acted upon; but it’s a way to accom­plish a major SFAA goal with­out a large time or finan­cial commitment.

The Orig­i­nal Strong Updates Program

The orig­i­nal Strong Updates pro­gram pro­duced 5 printed books, 4 of which remain in print and avail­able for pur­chase. We also updated and reprinted the orig­i­nal 2-volume Dwight’s His­tory of the Strong Fam­ily from 1871.

We didn’t stop there! Lyle Strong and Bob Strong cre­ated and pri­vately pub­lished, at their own expense, a com­bined name index to all 7 books.

Nor did we stop there! We con­tin­ued to work on pos­si­ble future updates. We have con­tin­ued to col­lect infor­ma­tion. The trou­ble, of course, is that the cost of hard­cover book pub­lish­ing remains prohibitive.

Chang­ing Technology

Paternal Ancestors of John Strong, Jr.

Pater­nal Ances­tors of John Strong, Jr.

For­tu­nately, we now have options that were not avail­able 15 or 25 years ago. We can pub­lish books on CD at vir­tu­ally no cost! We can main­tain the same high edi­to­r­ial stan­dards; only the for­mat changes. To be sure, a bound vol­ume is eas­ier to read than text on a com­puter screen, but pub­lish­ing on CD allows us to get the future updates avail­able to our mem­bers many years ear­lier than would oth­er­wise happen.

When pub­lish­ing on CD, we don’t have to worry about the num­ber of pages. It doesn’t cost any more to add another dozen pages of pho­tos, or an appen­dix show­ing orig­i­nal doc­u­ments in the orig­i­nal hand­writ­ing. We can “print” in color. We can include any num­ber of col­or­ful dia­grams and charts which peo­ple can print as wall posters.

Pub­lish­ing on CD is an entirely dif­fer­ent way of think­ing. Not every­thing is black and white. We can think in color!

Please share your ideas!

Posted in Sharing our Knowledge.

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