Any tips on archive searching?

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veinglory

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Next week I am searching an archive for research materials for a book. So, about thirty books of loosely defined material that might help with my book. Photocopying is expensive so I will be taking photos of materials. Any tips on how to keep things organized?
 

InsomniaShark

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Are the 30 books part of a distinct collection that has a finding aid? If so, I'd print the finding aid to use for tracking purposes as you go through the books, like jotting down if a book has a specific section that warrants a closer look later, if you've already gone through a book and didn't find anything useful, if you've gone through a book and took photos of everything useful except pages 255-260, etc.

You could also try Tropy (https://tropy.org/). It's a free software for researchers to use to organize, tag and take notes on photos of archival materials. I haven't used it yet, I just had it in my bookmarks for potential future use, but it looks like it might be helpful for your project.

Good luck! :]
 

busypencil

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I don’t take photos. Instead, I use the Dropbox app to scan multiple pages. Then I always change the file name from the default (the current date) to a name that will help me find and identify the document, like “1972 Smith, Critical Look, 1st chapter & front matter.” For me this works much better than jotting an ID down separately. I have organized thousands of scans like this. Naming the files is crucial. If I forget, I rename immediately. Just don’t use periods in file names, but commas are fine. Dropbox is free until you need additional storage. I have scanned dozens of pages into one single Dropbox file, but it’s best to stop after ten in case you lose your internet connection. Take a recharger to the archives.
 

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