20 May 2007

Scanning at the Family History Library

I'm using a lot less paper this trip to the Family History Library.

I was already a fan of the microfilm scanners at the Family History Library, but have become even moreso during this trip. Scanning the microfilm creates a lot less paper for me to have to cart around (and take back home) and allows me to copy things I might not have copied from the microfilm in the old days when I only made paper copies. Even at the very reasonable fee of 23 cents a page, a 100 page court case file still costs me $23 and makes a stack of papers to fit in my suitcase.

I've been printing out only those pages I need to have on paper for analysis later in the day or in the evening at my hotel room. There is still a time for paper and sometimes I like to lay it all out in order to analyze it.

My flash drive has come in very handy. I even brought a copy of my ancestor's 207 page Civil War pension file with me (obtained from the National Archives and scanned at home a while ago), in case I need to refer to it. I like having all those papers "with me" but not taking six suitcases to haul them all home again.

I back up my flash drive every night on another flash drive, just in case.

But I'm happy to have a lot less paper to take home with me while still having a great deal of information at my fingertips.

We aren't even done with this year's trip and I'm already planning for next year!