22 January 2012

TNA podcast: How a chisel, a mule, a shipping container and a cloud contribute to family history

I've blogged enthusiastically about Sharon Hintze's TNA podcasts before. As Director of the (LDS) London Family History Centre she has knowledge and wisdom to share.
This talk has as title either "The development of family history record keeping" or considerably more interestingly "How a chisel, a mule, a shipping container and a cloud contribute to family history." It's a repeat of one given to the Society of Genealogists centennial conference last year.
It's billed as "a thought-provoking journey through thousands of years of development of family history record keeping and record preservation. Not all technology over the millennia has changed and, surprisingly, the future is not entirely digital."
I found myself slow to warm to the presentation. I'm glad I persisted. I enjoyed it more the second time through, something that's easy to do with a podcast.
Toward the end the talk addresses some key issues. To paraphrase slightly "With so much digital now, why do people come at all to a physical archives. No matter how much is online people are still going to want to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake or the National Archives in Kew. It's partly social; it's partly they want help -- they found the record but they don't know what it means, or can't read it. Bricks and mortar in this digital word remain relevant."
"You're going to spend less time searching, that's already happened. We now quickly can find a whole lot of stuff which we have a hard time organizing, because it's so easy to find."
"We will have a much more complete picture of family and family roots than ever before. The sense of personal identity will be deeper and the family bonding stronger."
Find the podcast at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/podcasts/how-a-chisel.htm

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