We’re in danger of losing our memories

My title is taken from the title of this post over at the Guardian.

As most of you know my new obsession has been creating my family tree. I keep a social tree on Geni.com so that the whole family can work together and a research tree on Ancestry.com so I can find records and more generations. I have also sent out pleas to my family to send me their old scrapbooks and photo albums so I can digitize everything I find and share it back with the whole family. Too much of our history gets lost when our ancestors pass away – I’m trying very hard to preserve that for future generations on our tree.

Lynn, chief executive of the British Library, writes:

Too many of us suffer from a condition that is going to leave our grandchildren bereft. I call it personal digital disorder. Think of those thousands of digital photographs that lie hidden on our computers. Few store them, so those who come after us will not be able to look at them. It’s tragic.

So, will all the work I’ve done and will be doing work to keep our family history in the hands of our future generations? Where would you put your information and artifacts? I have been looking at Kete and thinking of ways to use it for my own personal collection of family history – but what happens when I’m no longer around? Who would maintain it? Maybe that’s why services like this are geared toward libraries – because we all think that libraries will be around forever to preserve our history.

So this is my call for libraries to make sure they have backups and backups and backups – preserve our history so that we don’t lose all of the great research that has been done by and about our ancestors.

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