The Old Way – Let’s say you have a journal of an ancestor or a genealogy book that a family member compiled years ago, which can be a wonderful and precious resource; there’s only one big problem – as your family grows descendants will not have the same access to your precious resource that you have enjoyed because there is only one or very few copies. Sooner than you think, family members will lose access to or forget about the resource.
The New Way – Preserving documents in digital format (meaning, they can be saved on computer) is one approach to saving, preserving, and distributing your family history information. Once stored on your computer, you can make any number of copies to send to family members.
The New, Old Fashioned Way – You can now have the best of both worlds, a digital and physical copy of your old genealogy books. Lulu.com can help you publish books that you write complete with ISBN numbers to boot. You can also use their service to scan old books and create a digital copy of the book as well as order physical copies.
I have spent hours upon hours scanning one page at a time from old family history books so I could have the books in a digital format. This little service could have saved me a lot of time. Things you’ll like:
- You can share digitally – The service will give you a digital copy of the book as a PDF file that will help you preserve your book/journal electronically. The benefit of the digital copy is that you can share it with as many family members as you want just by emailing it or burning it to disc.
- You can share physical copies – Once your book has been scanned by the service, you can choose to make your book available for order online. Available online means that your family members now, or down the road can order a physical copy of the book. It’s great when you think about those family history books that only Aunt Mabel has a copy of and you know it’ll never be passed down to you unless there was some way to make a good copy of the book, and now you have the way to do it!
- Book returned in one piece – Lulu states that they’re very careful with the books you send in, and your books will return in one piece.
- Very good copies – Now, you can go down to your local copy center and try to make a copy of the bound book you have, but you’ll notice when you try to do so that it take a lot of time, and the copies don’t come out quite right near the center of the page where the book is bound. Lulu has a special machine that makes the copies look very good.
- Various options – You can publish your book as a hard back book with or without a dust jacket, paperback, saddle stitch, or coil bound.