My Thanks To Everyone For All The Constructive Feedback You Have Given Me So Far

I started letting a few of my friends and family know about this website on Wednesday, 22.03.17, the day after I added this blog, and, since then, I have emailed a fair number of you asking for any feedback that you might have.

I have been greatly heartened by everyone, who has been kind enough to spare the time to look all the way through this website and who have then given me their constructive comments back.

As I said in my initial email to you, I will try and implement as many improvements as I possibly can but I cannot promise that I will be able to please everyone all the time.

I have already made a fair few changes, including correcting three typos that slipped through the net, and I have several more substantial changes in mind as a result of the very useful feedback that I have received so far. These will take a bit of time to implement, though.

Please do continue to let me have your feedback as to how the site could be improved further, as it is not fully ready yet.

And, please, do be brave when you comment back to me!

It is obviously very nice indeed to receive positive comments back but the constructive suggestions are even more useful to me. I also hope it will be pleasing to you, too, when you come back to the site later on, and see that I have indeed implemented a lot of the changes that you so kindly suggested.

I am especially keen that everyone registers and then logs in to try writing up some “Memories” and also uploading some photos and scanned documents or images. I have just added a hopefully helpful message to assist with the Registration process.

One of the main purposes of this website is to invite you to try out the “Memory+Photo+Scan-Catching-Machine”!

You can “copy and paste” any comments from elsewhere straight into the text-box and no one else (bar my three technical consultants, who are all sworn to secrecy) will read any of your comments, as they are not for public consumption … well,  until such stage as your book(s) or photo-album(s) are ready for publication … that’s if you take up the challenge and sign up!

Finally, please do let me know if you would like any special topics to be covered in future blog-posts and I will do my best to include them at some later stage.

My thanks again to all of you for your very great kindness in helping this website to become as good and as helpful and as easy-to-use as it possibly can be!

How To Store And “Process” Old Paperwork

The Problem:

For some time now, I have been pondering how best to deal with the mass of old family letters and other paperwork that I have managed to rescue from my late Pa’s house.

Many old letters have been badly damaged by the water ingress that occurred when thieves stole all the lead from the roof.

Some of the letters are well and truly stuck together in great “wodges”, and, to make matters even worse, some of these letters were written in “Quink”, the water-soluble ink that was so prevalent in the past!

As I work through them, I obviously need to distinguish one letter from the next – and many of them have unhelpful or unclear dates on them like “Sunday” rather than showing clearly the day, month and year when they were written. They were, of course, the “emails of their day” and so, in correspondence that was frequent, the dates were not really all that relevant at the time of writing. Sometimes the postmarks on the envelopes or aerogrammes are unclear or non-existent, which means that I will just have to guess from the contents of each letters as to when it might have been written.

I also need to note down whether or not they have been scanned and logged by me.

And yet I do not want to mark any of the original letters or other paperwork in any way even though, in this case, no one will object if I do so. It just seems “wrong” to destroy its current physical integrity by, for instance, adding a tiny sticky label with a number on it or “scrawling” a reference number on to a blank space on the document, even really lightly in pencil.

My Current Best Solution:

After consulting with a very experienced conservator recently, I have decided that the best approach will be to purchase a series of variously-sized (but probably mainly A4-sized) transparent pockets.

He suggested that I should choose the expensive sort, which are made out of acid-free and inert plastic, as, in theory at least, these should cause no damage to the paperwork.

The last thing I want is for the paperwork to get stuck to the insides of the plastic pockets, as has happened so frequently when I have put laser-printed paper in normal plastic pockets and then left them there for years and years.

By using pockets, this will enable me to label the pocket rather than what I have put in the pocket and it will also enable me to see clearly what is in the pocket.

The empty and filled pockets can then be filed in arch lever folders in whatever order makes most sense to me.

Once the pocket has been given a unique reference number, I can then scan the document, replace it in the plastic pocket and then log anything I want to against that number, for instance in text documents, spreadsheets and any of my various databases.

Would *You* Have Any Other Solutions To The Problem?

Please do feel free to add any other, potentially even better solutions.