I'm a couple weeks into an alternately leisurely and manic tour of East Coast relatives and archives. It's been a grand trip so far. Mostly great weather, wonderful visits with family, a glorious treat meeting a geneablogger friend and husband, and some wonderful "finds" that have kept me awake at nights as I reflect on what I'm uncovering.
A few thoughts have wandered through my brain repeatedly.
Having a portable WiFi network via my cellphone has been a lifesaver. Senior relatives don't always have computers, much less wireless networks. I've been able to set up computer, scanners, printers where ever I am and plug away with my digitizing projects. I've even been able to web browse or catch up on blog reading parked on the side of an interstate waiting for a squall line to pass.
My camera does a better job digitizing documents than I thought it would. Much faster than the scanners, too. Still, for those that it cannot adequately capture, the FlipPal scanner has been marvelous. For digitizing photographs the FlipPal or my flatbed scanner have been far better.
I am even more committed to getting information about the research and my "finds" out into the world via blogging and a website. Much of what I have worked out over the last 10 years of researching my Meredith and Lee in-laws is hinted at in the late 19th/early 20th c. letters I am reviewing now. There's real joy in reading these letters since I "know" all the characters from my research, but I could have chopped a couple years of work off if I'd had them to start with. I'd like whoever is interested in this bunch three or four generations from now to have a leg up!
And finally, having census data indexed, on-line and searchable is an incredible advantage. Thank you to the federal government, indexers, churches, for-profit corporations and Al Gore for making it possible.