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The Hybrid Family History

The Hybrid Family History

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Published by Moultrie Creek
This guide introduces the idea of combining scrapbooking elements with the traditional family history to create an electronic publication providing a compelling story and the research details supporting it.
This guide introduces the idea of combining scrapbooking elements with the traditional family history to create an electronic publication providing a compelling story and the research details supporting it.

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Published by: Moultrie Creek on Oct 20, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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01/09/2013

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The Hybrid F amily Histor y
One of my prized possessions is a family history of my Link family. It took years of research and writing effort to create and is full of detailed information going backnine generations. It’s a gold mine for a genealogist, but for everyone else it’s aneffort to get much further than the photos section. And, because much of it wastyped on a typewriter with some sections typed on a word processor and the photopages pulled together in a copy center, it’s difficult to navigate.I want to tell my family’s story in a way that keeps both my research cousins andthe genea-challenged cousins interested. I not only want my publication to beattractive and easy to read with lots of photos and images, I want to include all thetechnical components like indexes, documented sources and bibliographies.I’m an avid fan of digital scrapbooking and I love the artistic quality of a beautifullydesigned page. It not only draws the eye to the focus image, but it can also give asense of time and place through the use of design elements. While journaling is animportant scrapbooking component, it is always secondary to the images anddesign.My goal is to build a new type of family history - a hybrid publication - thatcombines the best of both technologies to create a compelling story that will keepmy family’s interest and provide the detail my research cousins require.
What’s Inside . . .
.........................................Getting Started 2.................................................Decisions 3........................................Technical Issues 4.................................................Legal Stuff 6................................................Next Steps 7......................................................Credits 8
 
A Moultrie Creek Publication 1
 
Getting Started
Each of the word processing applications I use - OpenOffice.org, Microsoft Wordand iWork’s Pages - provide the tools needed to build the technical document Irequire. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages on the design side. Ichose to use Pages because I am very comfortable with how it operates. I am not -yet - proficient in the advanced features I will need to use to build my documents. Ihave experimented with these features in each of the systems and found Pages moreintuitive than the others. This is purely a personal preference on my part and eachindividual will need to determine which tools work best for him.I am using Photoshop Elements to build the scrapbooking layouts included in mypublications. Photoshop Elements requires more effort, but will provide theflexibility to build a graphical element that fits into a limited space or flows aroundthe typed area of my history. Another advantage is the availability of howtoinformation and tutorials for scrapbooking tasks. There is also a huge inventory of scrapbooking elements - backgrounds, embellishments, frames and such - which Ican use to build the visual parts of my publication.Like everyone else involved in family history, much of my effort will revolve aroundmy genealogy database, my scanner and all the systems and services I use in myresearch efforts. In those respects, this history is no different from any other.
The Hybrid Family History - A Family Matters GuideA Moultrie Creek Publication 2
 
 Decisions
My first project is a history of one branch of my family tree that coversonly three generations. I’m building it as a stand-alone project, but Iwant to create a document design that can become a template forfuture projects. In this way, I can build my family history at my ownpace but later pull each individual project into one comprehensivepublication if I so choose. I also want to create an electronicpublication that’s easy to read on-screen yet can be printed if thereader prefers.Before we even begin writing, there are some design decisions to be made. Theseinclude:I’m choosing a landscape layout based on letter-sized paper. Using this format,each page can be displayed on the screen in its entirety. This makes on-screenreading easier. And, because I’m sizing my layout to a paper standard, it can beprinted without losing any formatting elements.Today’s word processing software includes both a word processing mode and alayout mode. The layout mode is used to create specialty documents likebrochures, newsletters and flyers. Only word processing mode supports thefeatures needed for a family history, such as table of contents, footnotes andbibliographies.While a landscape layout will display the entire page on the screen, trying tostretch a line of text all the way across that expanse will make it almostimpossible to read. Options include setting up multiple columns on each page orto format a short column and use the extra white space for photos and graphics.Readability is a factor when choosing fonts too. All caps are hard to read - andall the more so when reading on-screen. San-serif fonts like Arial make on-screenreading easier while serif fonts like Times New Roman are better for printedpages. A font like Optima serves as a good compromise.
The Hybrid Family History - A Family Matters GuideA Moultrie Creek Publication 3

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