Casefile Clues

02 June 2014

Taking Pictures of My Note

When doing onsite research, tracking sources and process is still necessary.

The problem is that it takes time away from actually obtaining records. That's something most of us do not want to do when at a research facility a distance from home.

I still make quite a few handwritten notes when researching even in this digital age. For me, it is simply faster and easier. The difficulty is that these loose pages can get lost and misfiled before they can be included as a part of the research summaries I make when I get home. That does not save time.

So I started taking pictures of those notes and emailing them to myself with enough keywords in the email text that a search of my email will pull up the desired note if I can't find it. I could also save the digital scans on my phone, a file server on the "cloud," etc. I prefer the email as I can attach the image and include in the text of the email additional commentary that I can type faster than I can write--and my typing is often easier to read than my handwriting.

I'm working on separating out at least two contemporary Rufus Stephens in New York State in the early 18th century. My initial analysis separated out one of those Rufuses. The handwritten chart doesn't include citations, but there is enough detail on these Lewis County, New York, Rufuses that I could easily create complete citations should that be necessary.

The main thing is that I don't lose these notes.