If You Really Want to Preserve Your Work

Consider ways to preserve your genealogy information before you die. Don’t include it in your will and think that you’re “done.” Libraries don’t always have time to organize unorganized material and some don’t have the funds to preserve it, catalog it, or store it. And your will may tell your executor what to do, but are a few boxes of papers going to be high on their priority list? Will the probate judge care what’s done that box of papers? Will the estate’s heirs and beneficiaries really care? Remember that unless you’re a well-known author, your manuscripts aren’t financially valuable documents.

Consider publishing bits and pieces of what you’ve located now, even if it is not finished. Local or state society publications may be interested. Self-publishing may be an option. Publishing to a website might not be enough for long term preservation–will the website be around in fifty or a hundred years? Ask around for ideas on how others have preserved their information. But don’t simply put it “in your will and forget about it.”

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