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.
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!