Family History Information and Items
“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; …”
Doctrine and Covenants 88:119
"The practice of keeping accurate records increases the efficiency and accuracy of the work of salvation. Determine a system for keeping track of what you have done, the information you currently have, and the direction you want to go next" (Introduction to Family History. Religion 261. Salt Lake City, UT: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1996. Print: Chapter 4. p. 30).
There are many ways to organize. The following is just one way:
- You need to gather your own records and heirlooms.
President Boyd K. Packer: “Get a cardboard box, any kind of a box will do. Put it someplace where it is in the way, ...anywhere where it cannot go unnoticed. Then, over a period of a few weeks, collect and put into the box every record of your life."
Download the following chart, which can help your family get started gathering family history information and items
The Introduction to Family History, Religion 261 (Chapter 4. p. 30.) lists some of the following ways to organize information and items:
The best was to protect what you have is to create an archive, which is a collection of documents, records and items about a place, family or individual. It can be a physical or digital location. Professional archivists recommend several ways to preserve and archive. The Article “When in Doubt, Don’t Throw It Out!: Helping Your Family Records Survive,” by William G. Hartley (Ensign, Apr. 1986) lists some of the following about protecting your information and items:
- Use acid-free materials in making your records.
- Store your most valuables records and heirlooms in archival containers, which you can quickly rescue in case of an emergency.
- Display copies of items and records; stating where the originals reside.
- Store copies of your most valuable items in a building separate from originals: such as a safe deposit box.
- Keep your records and heirlooms away from plumbing, basement floors, sunlit windows, heaters, air conditioners, and places with unregulated temperatures.
- Save items in digital form, and save all items in an archive.
- Regularly backup computer files.
If your information is organized and permanently preserved it will be more effective in blessing the lives of extended family and future generations. Sharing prompts other family members to share information and items that you may not possess. For more information see “Share With Others.”
In "Episode #13: Organize Your Records" you will learn how to organize the research that you have already done and establish a system to keep your future research organized.
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