Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Data Backup Day

Don't be an April Fool! Backup all your genealogy research! implores the blurb on Facebook for this event.

I am fairly conscientious about backing up the data in my genealogy program as I am prompted each time I log out to do so. Every few days I copy this to an external hard drive and email it to myself at Gmail. I think I have this backup covered.

But what of my other precious family resource - "Our Diary"? Our diary is an Excel spreadsheet detailing the family's activities during my lifetime. I only started keeping a diary in the mid eighties so have had to retrospectively create other entries. I have used old receipts, postcards, letters, programs, photographs and other ephemera to build this resource. Family members know that they are not allowed to throw out an old piece of paper before I check it for diary usefulness. When we are at a function and someone starts reminiscing I note down the memory to add to the diary.

I export my Outlook calendar into the diary at irregular intervals and embroider those entries for the diary where appropriate. I also copy and paste my status updates from Facebook into the diary. To date the diary has around 15,000 entries that I would hate to lose. I save this to the laptop and occasionally to an external hard drive with the file name ourdiary.

The family sometimes laugh about 'the diary' but when they have a need for a date they come running to Mum to check the diary.

As a response to Data Backup Day I have created a task in Outlook to remind me to backup the diary each week. I will be saving the diary to an external hard drive with a different file name each time in the format ourdiary20090202, ourdiary20090303 etc so that if one file is corrupted then I will have an earlier archived copy.

Thanks to Genea-Bloggers for organising this day as a memory jogger for those, like me, who may forget to take adequate care of precious family resources.

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