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. Con­tinue read­ing

The Digital Library

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 3: The Dig­i­tal Library

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

The key here, is to “show what we got” on the Inter­net in a way that peo­ple can find us. Peo­ple look­ing for spe­cific Strong geneal­ogy related to the first five gen­er­a­tions can already find us in Google. But what about the infor­ma­tion buried in those fil­ing cab­i­nets, or the updates sub­mit­ted to us as com­puter files? There is no indi­ca­tion online – yet – that those things even exist.

My local library has their cat­a­log online. I have to go to the library to pick up the book, but I can see what they have, by search­ing with my com­puter. I’d like to do some­thing sim­i­lar with the His­to­rian Archives.

Recovering from PC/AT and Floppy Disks

Recov­er­ing from PC/AT and Floppy Disks

I’m not sug­gest­ing that we place every­thing we know online – far from it! I’m sug­gest­ing we make a com­plete inven­tory of what we have, and place the inven­tory online. Show what we know! You can well imag­ine that mak­ing that inven­tory is a large project in itself, going through six­teen file cab­i­net draw­ers, file folder by file folder.

The result is that we actu­ally know what we have, and we know what we have avail­able to share. Some infor­ma­tion will undoubt­edly be pri­vate, and we won’t want to adver­tise to the world at large that we have it. But with nearly every­thing we’ve been col­lect­ing for decades, we do want to tell the world we have it. That’s a large part of why we are here!

A dig­i­tal cat­a­log is not ter­ri­bly excit­ing. It does not pro­vide an inter­est­ing answer to “Why would I want to join?” But it’s a nec­es­sary and impor­tant first step. Let’s look at some more inter­est­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties. Con­tinue read­ing

The Historian Archives Project

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 2: The His­to­rian Archives Project

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

The His­to­rian Archives include:

  • Many thou­sands of com­puter files, includ­ing book man­u­scripts, name index­ing projects, new Strong infor­ma­tion sub­mit­ted, and rewrit­ten mate­r­ial ready for a future Strong Updates project
  • Four fil­ing cab­i­nets full of source mate­r­ial, notes, and other paper records

Historian Archives

His­to­rian Archives

I have no doubt that many other SFAA mem­bers have their own cab­i­nets and col­lec­tions of com­puter disks full of Strong infor­ma­tion. We have a tremen­dous wealth of infor­ma­tion to share – that is why we are here – if we only have the prac­ti­cal means to do so. Con­tinue read­ing

Why Would I Want to Join?

Orville Nathan Strong

Orville Nathan Strong

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 1: Why Would I Want to Join?

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

Why would I want to join? Our son Jake, age 27, has posed that ques­tion to Lodge mem­bers when invited to join the Elks Lodge and sim­i­lar orga­ni­za­tions in North Dakota. Nobody has really pro­vided an answer com­pelling to some­one under age 30.

To be sure, there are rea­sons for join­ing fra­ter­nal or ser­vice orga­ni­za­tions… but Jake hasn’t found any rea­sons suf­fi­ciently com­pelling in his case. Jake sug­gests that we, the Strong Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica, have a sim­i­lar ques­tion remain­ing unanswered.

Con­tinue read­ing