Using Flash Drives when Gathering Family Information

Those small compact flash drives are very handy. In many public libraries, they have had microfilm rolls of their hometown newspapers. Yet, using that microfilm on the conventional microfilm readers can be very hard. To search for a surname or keyword is even harder.

Many libraries have been updating such equipment and the newer microfilm readers can enhance and read the articles even on faint newspapers so much better. The best part is that you can select the article of interest, crop it and then either print it on paper or better yet, place that digital article on your flash drive to take home. Some of these new microfilm readers also have a search box. So within a reel, say dated January 1, 1940 to March 31, 1940, you place the surname or keyword you are searching. Then comes up any finds. You click on any of interest and there is the article.

To help with the use of the flash drive, the newest ones have 3.0 technology so they download and upload much faster, but those are more expensive than the 2.0 technology flash drives. So select which you prefer. You should have one of a larger size, at least 32 GB or larger. That size, especially on sale, can run just 5 to 8 dollars. 

Label your USB flash drive. Put it in a small case or even a small plastic ‘snack’ bag which has a slip of paper with your name, cell phone number and email address. So if you leave it behind at the library or any research facility, it can be returned.

Along with that information place, a document on the flash drive either in a usable text file or even as a jpeg image that has your contact information. It can be titled “ If Found”.

Another great use of a flash drive is to place family photos or videos. Take the flash drive with you whenever you are at family members’ homes and you have instant entertainment, especially if you include some of the really funny or unusual photos. Most of the newer Smart television set now have USB ports, so you can just plug in the flash drive to show the photos and videos.

So make sure you have several flash drives on hand, very useful.

Photos: Examples of various flash drives.

Related Blogs:

Digital Genealogical Documents

Changes to Saving Digital Pics ad Documents

Saving Documents


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