Official Strong Genealogy Database

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 14: Offi­cial Strong Geneal­ogy Database

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

Jedediah Strong Descendants at 2009 Reunion

Jede­diah Strong Descen­dants at 2009 Reunion

Remem­ber that as we embark upon this sug­gested Future Updates program:

  • We have already cre­ated a nearly-world-class online presence;
  • We have a group of trained editors/compilers;
  • We have stim­u­lated renewed inter­est and par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Asso­ci­a­tion; and
  • We have gained vol­umes of new infor­ma­tion from that interest.

What I’d like to sug­gest is that at this point we start over, with a “real” updates pro­gram – but with a twist. We now have a lux­ury that did not exist 15 or 25 years ago. We can take things one man­age­able bite at a time, while retain­ing top genealog­i­cal stan­dards and com­plete qual­ity con­trol. We can take things on a piece at a time as peo­ple become available.

My sug­ges­tion is sim­ple: Begin an Offi­cial Strong Geneal­ogy data­base. It doesn’t really mat­ter if we use Fam­ily Tree Maker, Legacy, or some­thing else, so long as it can be used to record what we want to record, and gen­er­ate book sec­tions for our Future Updates program.

The next arti­cle, Cre­at­ing for the Future, explains this tech­nique in detail.

Please share your ideas!

A Manageable Future Updates Program

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 13: A Man­age­able Future Updates Program

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

In past arti­cles, I described turn­ing our His­to­rian Archives into an online pres­ence, and into a use­ful resource avail­able to our mem­ber­ship. It’s a large multi-year project, but it’s man­age­able and rel­a­tively straight-forward. We can tackle one piece of the project at a time, as time per­mits, know­ing where that piece fits into the over­all plan. Each step pro­duces tan­gi­ble results – always a good feel­ing. Con­tinue read­ing

Preservation Copy

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 12: Preser­va­tion Copy

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

Why the Draper Manuscripts Exist

Why the Draper Man­u­scripts Exist

One of the ini­tial goals of our His­to­rian Archives project, is to pro­tect those four large 4-drawer fil­ing cab­i­nets from nat­ural dis­as­ters such as fire, flood, or tornado.

We do that by run­ning every page through a scan­ner, one page at a time. That gives an image of every page. It’s a pho­to­graph, not search­able text. It’s not search­able or oth­er­wise usable.

Scan­ning those pages will take count­less hours. The result is less than use­ful. A pic­ture of a page, on a com­puter screen, is not easy to use. It is a pic­ture, not book text. That means you can’t search through the files for a par­tic­u­lar name, or any­thing else.

So… Why is this impor­tant? We are cre­at­ing a preser­va­tion copy that we hope we never need to look at again. If the orig­i­nal papers get destroyed by fire, water, or ver­min, we still have the infor­ma­tion in those scanned images. With­out that preser­va­tion copy, every­thing would be gone forever.

Cre­at­ing that preser­va­tion copy is a metic­u­lous but undoubt­edly bor­ing project. Scan one page, then scan the next page, the next page, and the next. Keep those images cor­rectly orga­nized and cat­a­loged. Move on to the next file folder, and the next.

For­tu­nately, this is a per­fect case of “many hands make light work.” If we hap­pen to have sev­eral peo­ple who under­stand the impor­tance of the project, and are will­ing to take on a half dozen file fold­ers at a time, we could per­haps fin­ish that project in a sin­gle year.

Note that this Preser­va­tion Copy project does not include con­vert­ing each page to text. We are mak­ing no attempt to inter­pret, tran­scribe, index, or retype the documents.

We are each extremely tempted to make those pages use­ful. How­ever, that means the project will take lit­er­ally 10 times as many hours. We’ll never finish!

Mean­while, of course, we do have that row of fil­ing cab­i­nets full of use­ful infor­ma­tion. How do we go about shar­ing that knowl­edge? That’s what the next step is all about – cre­at­ing a man­age­able Future Updates program.

Please share your ideas!

The Question

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 11: The Question

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

Surviving the Disk Errors

Sur­viv­ing the Disk Errors

We began Part 1 by pos­ing the ques­tion, “Why would I want to join?” For some­one under age 30, the answer includes a sub­stan­tial online pres­ence, and sig­nif­i­cant inter­ac­tion. That inter­ac­tion usu­ally begins as online interaction.

Here in Part 11, we need to ask the ques­tion, “How do we get this project off the ground?” Our answer is the same – we cre­ate that sub­stan­tial, inter­est­ing, and inter­ac­tive online pres­ence first. Both the Newslet­ter and the Web site allow us to talk about the project. But we need to also use our Web site to show the project, and become the cen­tral point of inter­act­ing with our mem­bers and poten­tial members.

Please share your ideas!

Our Internet Presence

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 10: Our Inter­net Presence

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

Stronghold Castle Descendants

Strong­hold Cas­tle Descendants

The more I think about the His­to­rian Archives project, the more I real­ize that our Inter­net pres­ence is key to mak­ing the project work. How do we find peo­ple inter­ested in help­ing? How do we find peo­ple with knowl­edge or exper­tise to share?

Get the Word Out

We use the Newslet­ter and the Web site to get the word out, just as we always have.

  • The Newslet­ter tar­gets our exist­ing mem­ber­ship, many of whom make very lit­tle use of com­put­ers or Web sites.
  • The Web site is avail­able to our exist­ing mem­ber­ship, but is our pri­mary means of reach­ing poten­tial mem­bers, and par­tic­u­larly the younger generation.

Show Inter­est­ing Results

Our Web site allows us to do far more than tell about what we plan to do. We can show things are actu­ally happening!

Even though they are not a direct part of the His­to­rian Archives project, we can and should enhance our online pres­ence with the fol­low­ing: Con­tinue read­ing

What We Gain

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 9: What We Gain

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

Sarah (d/o Elder John Strong) and Joseph Barnard Family

Sarah (d/o Elder John Strong) and Joseph Barnard Family

This pro­posed “Pre­lim­i­nary Updates” pro­gram gains us a lot more than you might think.

  • We stim­u­late inter­est, by pro­vid­ing information
  • We train a new group of experts, the editors/compilers
  • We gain far more infor­ma­tion for future updates, as peo­ple advance their own research
  • We gain mem­bers inter­ested in the ongo­ing project, and who want to be a part of some­thing happening
  • We con­tinue to estab­lish our­selves as a world-class online pres­ence, a point of par­tic­u­lar appeal to the younger generation

The “Pre­lim­i­nary Updates” pro­gram is merely a sug­ges­tion as a log­i­cal next step. It has high value for rel­a­tively low cost. We are tak­ing the work of our for­mer His­to­ri­ans and respect­fully mak­ing that work avail­able to our mem­ber­ship, as the nec­es­sary step towards an Updates project of our own.

Please share your ideas!

Publishing Options

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 7: Pub­lish­ing Options

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

If our “Pre­lim­i­nary Infor­ma­tion” vol­umes are care­ful to only include infor­ma­tion not already printed in our 7 bound vol­umes, we can use these books on CD to stim­u­late our printed book sales. When some­one buys a Pre­lim­i­nary Infor­ma­tion vol­ume and stud­ies the infor­ma­tion, they are likely to real­ize that they’d like one or more of the bound vol­umes – and we’ll make sure they know where to pur­chase that bound vol­ume! Mean­while, the “Pre­lim­i­nary Infor­ma­tion” books on CD become a new source of income. Con­tinue read­ing

Historian Updates in Progress

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 5: His­to­rian Updates in Progress

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

Here is my sug­ges­tion: Orga­nize and pub­lish what we already have as a series of “Pre­lim­i­nary Infor­ma­tion” vol­umes on CD. We have, right now, enough man­u­scripts and par­tial man­u­scripts to pub­lish sev­eral thou­sand pages! Con­tinue read­ing