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Organizing digital records & photos in FTM 2012

Organizing digital records & photos in FTM 2012

Posted: 6 May 2013 12:54PM GMT
Classification: Query
I'm trying to organize my digital media, which includes photos, census records and any/all other types of records, stories or other documents, and newspaper clippings, that I have attached to my tree in FTM 2012. Some of these records were attached to my online tree and got imported/synced to my computer that way. The rest I've attached through the merge function in FTM 2012. All of this media is saved in the FTM 2012 Media folder on my external hard drive.
I'm currently in the process of renaming a lot of these media. My problem is, after settling on one format for naming my media, I've decided that a slight change would be better. Before I go back and re-do what I've already done, I thought I'd ask here and see what others do or think.
My old method was Year of document Last Name Full First Name Type of Document Other Information. An example of this would be, 1930 Smith John Allen US Census wife Mary Ellen Clark & 4 Children Omaha Douglas Nebraska. What I want to do now is change the order I arrange what I use to name the media. An example of that is, Smith John Allen 1940 US Census wife Mary Ellen Clark & 4 Children Omaha Douglas Nebraska.
By doing it this way, all media for John Allen Smith will be arranged together and in chronological order. My old way put ALL media in chronological order and one person's media would be scattered among all my people.
Does this make sense or am I missing something?
Would appreciate any thoughts or ideas on what you do and why you do it that way.

Re: Organizing digital records & photos in FTM 2012

Posted: 6 May 2013 2:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
I do not use many spaces as some system do not like them. Also note that when burning to a CD or DVD the file name length is 124 characters, and then you will get errors.

I do the following
SmithElizabethSusan-JonesDonaldThomas-1875-1933-MarCert (this allows multi marriages to be listed and with whom)
SmithElizabethSusan-1875-1933-Photo001 (this way I can have 1,000 of her)

Where possible the use of the birth-death year helps when you have the same name used over and over.

These can all be in the same folder and not have to jump around to get all of Elizabeth's images and or data files. This also allows to use SmithElizabethSusan-1875-1933-Obit for both a image of the newspaper obit and a doc of it transcribed into a word processor file.

Just use some acronyms that are very easy to be understood by other people.

Re: Organizing digital records & photos in FTM 2012

Posted: 6 May 2013 5:40PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 6 May 2013 5:44PM GMT
I don't understand why you want to go to the trouble to do this. Is most of this media attached to a Source Citation? If so, the media is already organized to be available from each person's Person Tab. You can see how many media items are attached to each fact (usually through citations) - by the number in the middle column of numbers - headed by a reddish-brownish book. You can see each media item attached to a citation by the same reddish-brownish media icon for each citation.

In FTM, the actual titles of media can be a series of random numbers, but still be easily found by just finding the person, and/or citation - at either the Person Tab or the Source Workspace.

Why go to the trouble to do all of this name changing? It makes no sense to me. I'd rather be spending my time researching.

Also, if a person were to use some kind of scheme to title media - I wouldn't put people's names in it. A given census page could have 20 people from four families. A given page from a book of Soldiers with a common surname may have 30 names on a page. etc, etc.

Re: Organizing digital records & photos in FTM 2012

Posted: 6 May 2013 5:40PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 6 May 2013 5:41PM GMT
I dont name my file with information regarding the content of the file. Since I have a library & computer background I believe in using the computer to make things easier. Which includes silverfoxes comment above.

I tend to use my library training to name files based on accession data or catalog numbers based on my off site paper data/information retention database.

So potential files names would be N25871_2013096_01.jpg where the first part is the catalog identifier, the second part is the accession date (96th day of 2013), first item. Libraries and museums use naming standards like this because in many cases the actual contents of the item may start out unknown or have multiple people or connections within the one document/media.

In MS-Windows you can add tags to .jpg files to identify the content of the picture. You can also add comments and copyright information.

Re: Organizing digital records & photos in FTM 2012

Posted: 6 May 2013 6:14PM GMT
Classification: Query
Since I have a lot more files on my hard drive than I do attached, linked and etc. within my FTM file, I use the above.
The use of the "Catalog identifier" is great for you that understands it, but what about those family members that do not and you are not around to explain it?

Re: Organizing digital records & photos in FTM 2012

Posted: 6 May 2013 6:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 6 May 2013 7:35PM GMT
Since I am the administrator of the website and the librarian of data, I get the final say as to what form this gets added in, how it gets named and where it gets stored. Someone has to set standards and that is what librarians do.

This has far reaching impact not just on picture names but on the quality of sources, the verbage used in citations and how notes are used. Yes it means a lot of work for me fixing things up and making them look right but in the end I am contributing the largest amount of time and energy to this project.

On the other hand when I provide information as a service to clients, I advise them on how they could do it, however they don't have to take my advice, they can name things any way they want and keep their sources in any form they want (or for that matter keep no sources).

Re: Organizing digital records & photos in FTM 2012

Posted: 6 May 2013 7:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
To answer silverfox, I'm trying to get my FTM Media file to match my hard copy filing system (haven't done too much with that yet, stuff is in big piles right now).

I've got files in FTM that aren't attached to ANYONE and I can't tell what's what without opening it b/c of how the files are currently labeled. I've also got duplicates for some reason, and want to delete those. Right now, from the Person tab I look at what media is attached and "rename" there. I LIKE being able to open up my media file on the hard drive and see what file is what based on the file name. Call me weird, but I like my stuff neat and tidy like that. It also will match my originals & backups that I use to send to people that I'm collaborating with. I like to do this directly from the hard drive and not through FTM.

As far as my hard copies go, I'm leaning towards not having too many sub folders; basically surname file with immediate family in their own file. Any copies for that family would be in the file. Not sure yet if I'm going to go and print out ALL my media that is currently attached to my tree, but I do have quite a bit of stuff that wasn't found online, that is now scanned and attached. I'm not comfortable with going completely digital, so will be hanging onto my papers for the time being.

I do understand about not having spaces in the file name from my computer programming days. Also limiting the length of the file name, I've gotten a little piggy with that.

I understand using a numbering system similar to the way a library would do it. I want something that will tell me what the file is just by the name so I don't have to open it up to see what it is. The numbering system doesn't really help me with that.

Hope to hear from others on what you do or use and why you like it.

Re: Organizing digital records & photos in FTM 2012

Posted: 7 May 2013 2:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
I use this a basic convention for files, FirstLasttype.

For John Doe the file name \
Birth: John Doe Birth certificate" or "John Doe Birth Record"

Census: "John Doe 1850 census".

Death: John Doe Death certificate" or "John Doe Death Record"

When you get the situation like my family the like to name after ancestors and have four generations of John Doe I add the birth date.

John Doe 1854 1850 Census, John Doe 1830 1850 Census, etc.

I have found no standard is a perfect match for all occasions so there are some variations. like "John Doe B 1854 Census 1850"

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