Precious Documents Inventory (National Institute)
The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Methodology - Part 1: Getting Started, Methodology - Part 2: Organizing and Skillbuilding, Methodology - Part 3: More Strategies, Methodology - Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording, Methodology - Part 5: How To Prove It, and Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice by Louise St Denis, Brenda Dougall Merriman anenelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
Forms[edit | edit source]
Precious Documents Inventory[edit | edit source]
During your research you should always ask everyone you talk to, or write to, about precious family documents in their possession. Any such documents may be unique in their information, and could provide clues to family relationships and direct you to other sources for investigation. And they help to “breathe life” into your ancestors. Family members cannot all be expected to hand over unique documents or photographs or artifacts to you. Remember your manners and offer to photocopy or photograph such items.
Hopefully you will find a variety of items: certificates of births, marriages or deaths, certificates of other important events in your ancestors’ lives, reports of all kinds: school, health, law, etc. You will also find photographs, slides, hopefully old home movies and old audio recordings. Yes, collect everything possible.
This process should be started early on in your project to enable you to accumulate as much as you can. When the time comes that you want to write your family book or produce a family video, you will have all the visual information to help you make your family gift as complete as possible.
We all know how we store things in very logical locations; why is it so often we can’t find what we are looking for? List all special documents, photos, letters and family mementoes you have collected on this form.
Start your reference number for each special item with the same family group record code you used for your descendants. Use the first letter of the surname, if that is what you did on your family group record forms. Then, simply give a sequential number to each item. This form will also give you the reminders needed to make sure that all documents lent to you are returned to their owners.
Precious items need to be properly stored to protect them. You should become familiar with acid-free paper to photocopy documents and acid-free boxes and file folders to store your documents and precious books. Pigma pens should be used to write names and dates on the back of photographs. There are many inexpensive methods to protect and preserve your precious family documents and heirlooms.
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses Methodology - Part 1: Getting Started, Methodology - Part 2: Organizing and Skillbuilding, Methodology - Part 3: More Strategies, Methodology - Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording, Methodology - Part 5: How To Prove It, and Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.