Sourcing Digital Images While Onsite


Digital images made from photographs are great, but the challenosb-picturesge when making them at a library a distance from home is to make them in such as way as to stay organized.

While I was at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City this May, I took pictures from several published “family books” from villages in northern Germany. I could have made a folder for each book on my phone as I made the pictures, but I didn’t. I could have named each file as I took the pictures, but I didn’t.

Frankly both activities, while good from an organizational and methodology standpoint, were going to take too much time. So I took a different approach. These family books are frequently referred to by the initials “OSB,” for ortssippenbucher. For each village book, on a piece of paper, I wrote the name of the village and the initials “OSB.” Then I would lay that piece of paper on each page as I took the pictures. A picture of the title page of the book was also taken. I always made certain not to place the paper on a part of the page I would need and could have used a smaller piece of paper if getting the entire page had been required. I did make certain to get the page number in each photo.

Then when home, I had all the citation information I needed. I knew where each page was from, had the page number, and had a copy of the title page.


I’m giving a webinar on organizing for your research trip later in December. You can join me on my research trip to Salt Lake City or the Allen County Public Library in 2016.


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