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TOPIC: [SOLVED] Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media

Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 1 year 2 months ago #1

  • latoga
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I've done some initial searching for any Best Practices type documentation but couldn't find any. If I missed it somewhere, please point me to it.

If it doesn't exist yet, I'd be happy to help collect users best practices and create a few initial documents.

What I'm looking for:
  • Best Practices for organizing sources using repositories.
  • Best Practices for organizing media directory (file name recommendations, folders, etc.)

I've recently migrated to webtrees (thanks team for the continued development efforts!) after a year long pause in the family geneology research. I've been investing a lot of time in cleaning up the data post migration and before I reopen the family tree to the wider set of family historians. Planning ahead, I'd like to provide some best practices recommendations for sources and repositories as well as media uploads.

I'm focusing on better source documentation for future genealogists. And I know I have to do some cleanup in the current sources. But I'm trying to figure out the best practices for using repositories. Sources to date range from conversations with living individuals, scrap books of obituaries and other announcements, old letters, some official records. But how do others best organize their sources, in both naming/creating sources and using repositories? I'm trying to put the clean up effort in once here...

In a similar fashion, most of my family tree is individuals, families, and facts. Very few media objects so far...but I have a huge backlog that I need to put in. And I know others will want to do the same once I reopen the flood gates. But I'm concerned about all these files living in one media folder on the server. As a photographer, I have my own best practices for what format and resolution to upload photos. Naming wise I'm trying to standardize on filenames of "[Date] [Last Name] [First Names] [Short Description]". But how do other's use the ability for users to create their own folders at upload time? From a pure administration perspective IMO it would be nice to have a folder for each user to upload their media files into. This way you have a second layer of traceability for the documents to who uploaded them. Again, looking to collect best practices here from what others are doing. I know from personal experience how quickly a media folder like this can get out of control...

Appreciate the communities help here. Again, I'll offer to collate all responses into a best practice document for each.

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Greg A. Lato
Lato / Sobolewski Family Tree Admin
familytree.latoga.com/
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Greg A. Lato
Lato / Sobolewski Family Tree Lead
familytree.latoga.com/
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Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 1 year 2 months ago #2

  • norwegian_sardines
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Here is a short discussion on media names. The topic of media and directory names comes up every year or so, look back a few years in the forum for more discussions.

Here

In general I look at the repository as the location of where I can find the source. For example: Library, Online Company, Your personal library, etc.

Every source is attached to the place I found and the place a reader can find the source.

Every source is high level organization of documents. A book, a collection of census pages by year (national census are one source, local census that are not part of a national census are broken out as a source), each person interviewed is a source, a named newspaper is a source (I don't create a new source for each newspaper issue, the issue info becomes part of the source_citation entry).
Ken
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Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 1 year 1 month ago #3

  • kiwi
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Source referencing - if you are serious about "best practice" look for the book "Evidence Explained" by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Widely acknowledged as the standard for genealogy.

Also ensure you have a copy of the GEDCOM specification (ver. 5.1) close at hand and that you "really" understand it. Many people dismiss it as outdated and not flexible enough for this century. I disagree. Once well understood and used as designed it has all the flexibility required.

Media storage - That's easy - don't bother with complex folders and "naming standards". In an environment such as webtrees it is pointless. It achieves nothing (except confused users), and the chances of you actually getting your users (hopefully you will have many) to follow your rule book are negligible. Use a single folder for all images and make the file names as obtuse as possible (avoids attempts at duplication, and is more secure). In reality the file name is irrelevant. It should never be displayed to users or visitors / readers anyway. The important thing is to get used to adding good, meaningful titles. These are what people actually see, and they should instantly tell anyone what the media object is and why you are displaying it where you are.

The important area you have missed is "best practice" for data entry. This where the GEDCOM standard can help. But more importantly, work out exactly how you want to display the data. Look for consistency, accuracy, and meaningful appearance. This is especially important in areas such as place naming, the use of sources, etc.. Use the software's "FAQ" module to present your requirements to users, and encourage them to use it, by polite but firm reminders when you accept / edit contributions they make. Feel free to look at the Help section of my site.
Nigel

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Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 1 year 1 month ago #4

  • norwegian_sardines
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Well said Nigel,

A note on Evidence Explained. As a librarian I loved the read of EE, but as a consumer I would say don't get too caught up in the weeds of EE, it can be a little overwhelming. Understanding the data needed for good referencing is very important, EE is the way to learn.

Media Titles are very important as Nigel said, file names and directories are not.

Look in this forum back several years regarding FAQ. We as a group discussed what rules many of the long time members have set up for their sites, which may help you to build your own.
Ken
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[SOLVED] Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 2 months 2 weeks ago #5

  • latoga
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Problem solved.
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Greg A. Lato
Lato / Sobolewski Family Tree Lead
familytree.latoga.com/
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Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 2 months 2 weeks ago #6

  • latoga
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Thanks everyone for the pointers! Everyone ends up with their own structure, but it's always good to hear about others strategies and reasons for implementations.

-Greg
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Greg A. Lato
Lato / Sobolewski Family Tree Lead
familytree.latoga.com/
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Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 2 months 2 weeks ago #7

  • ella89
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For the media file names. I do not use lastname-firstname convention mainly for it's restricted usage and for security reasons. I use the ID numbers generated by the webtrees. So for the individuals, the file name always starts with the letter "I" followed by 5-digit ID personal number. So person with ID1, has photos numbered I00001_01.jpg to I00001_99.jpg, (if more than one picture). For the families same rule but the file name starts with "F" followed by 5-digit family number (F00001_xx.jpg).

I use a very specific rules on the media titles though. Last Name (at birth) [last known name]- marriages, name changes, AKA names, etc, First Name (year of birth-year of death). Event (if known), place (if known) year the picture was taken (if known).

So for example Jane Smith (nee Brown) picture taken at the wedding of her cousin in Detroit in 1930, has a title description:

Brown [Smith], Jane (1900-1980). At the wedding of her cousin Mary Brown, Detroit 1930.

Her file name in the media folder is I01234_03.jpg (as it is the 3-rd picture of Jane Smith that we have).

For the sources. The church/government/official registers - one source for each book - named exactly as on the original register, in the original language, or as named by the archive if the title page/cover is missing, followed by the English translation if needed. Censuses - by title, year, place, ED-ED numbers. Newspapers by name, place, year. Private sources by Last, First name of the person who provided the info. Loose/single documents - passports, school reports, drivers licence, yearbooks, etc - Last, First name (DOB-DOD), type of document, place, year, or if more than one person involved (marriage cert, divorce papers, etc) - Lastname-Lastname, type of document, place, year. The on-line sources by url.

Further source details - like the specific line/page/record numbers, full citations, url links, etc. - go into the each individual's events under citations, text or notes.

Repositories. Places where the sources where first obtained. Institutions by official name, individuals by Last, First name. Then addresses, phones, urls - as much as I can get.
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Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 2 months 2 weeks ago #8

  • joeysun
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ella89 wrote:
For the media file names. I do not use lastname-firstname convention mainly for it's restricted usage and for security reasons. I use the ID numbers generated by the webtrees....

I have done pretty much the same as you, because of the convenience and usefulness and availability of the XREF-ID.

However, the developers have mentioned that they will not be 'using' the XREF-ID numbers in the future. This gives me pause.
kiwi wrote:
...Media storage...In reality the file name is irrelevant. It should never be displayed to users....

I appreciate @kiwi statement and experience, but have considered using a portion of the gedcom _UID for the filename. I am just unsure if the developers plan to retain the _UID in the future. I still feel the need to somehow connect the media file to a profile, source, or family. Of course, I want to future proof my system.
Doug
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Last Edit: 2 months 2 weeks ago by joeysun. Reason: clarity and correction
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Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 2 months 2 weeks ago #9

  • kiwi
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Future proofing is generally a good idea.

But regardless of development plans here you should avoid all GEDCOM tags that begin with “_”.
That underscore means it is not an official GEDCOM tag, so even if this software retains it, there is no guarantee others will recognise it. As such _UID and any other similar tag can never be regarded as “future proof”.

The best alternative would be the RIN, which is a number you can generate yourself, is part of the GEDCOM spec so unlikely to be dropped from the system, and should be accepted by any other GEDCOM-based software.

Definition of RIN:
AUTOMATED_RECORD_ID:= {Size=1:12}
A unique record identification number assigned to the record by the source system. This number is intended to serve as a more sure means of identification of a record for reconciling differences in data between two interfacing systems
Nigel

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Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 2 months 2 weeks ago #10

  • norwegian_sardines
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I assign a unique REFN to all Individuals, Families, and Sources in a similar fashion to a library cataloging system.

This REFN is then used to cross reference to all objects that I retain in my personal library (photos, painting/art, books, object (chairs, watches, etc.) . You could look back a few years in this forum for my discussion using this concept.

I don't use RIN because some people using other software program (who don't understand the difference between RIN and XREF) confuse the two GEDCOM tags thinking they are the same, the RIN could get mangled if you are a round tripper.

REFN is defined as:
USER_REFERENCE_NUMBER:= {Size=1:20}
A user-defined number or text that the submitter uses to identify this record. For instance, it may be a
record number within the submitter's automated or manual system, or it may be a page and position number on a pedigree chart.
Ken
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Best Practices for Sources/Repositories and Media 2 months 2 weeks ago #11

  • joeysun
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Was there not a way to append automatically via the control panel a RIN, or was that a _UID?
Doug
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