Folder Structure & File Naming

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Folder Structure & File Naming

meikamona

 

On Friday, 24 February 2017 9:03:00 PM AEDT Peter Merchant <[hidden email]> on [hidden email] wrote:

> The second point on there is 'get it on the computer'. I would like to

> add to that to think of a folder structure that fits your needs and also

> think of a file naming format.

>

> My structure is a high level folder called 'Ancestry' with sub-folders

> for each branch of the family, such as 'Merchant' (fathers side) 'white'

> (mothers side) 'Burkey' (paternal Grandmothers side) etc.

> and sub-folders in these as required.

 

Yes, I've just started using GRAMPS in the last two weeks after importing a decade old GEDCOM file. I started off exploring GRAMPS by looking at places:- enclosing places, adding data like co-ordinates and actually finding where Green Hills Station is or was exactly.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-141608194/view

 

Getting to grips with GRAMPS made it clear early on that working out file naming and directory/folder structure was paramount. Especially with a mishmash of decade old electronic files.

 

Talking with a historian as to how to organise files & folders we discussed that a structure for actively building research requires a different emphasis, compared to later accessing and working with the research documents. This came up when I mentioned previous chatter on this list as to where to 'put' certificates, by EVENT or with the primary Person. She said I just put it everywhere. Duplicating? I said. Yep, makes it easy to find later.

 

Key word: Later.

 

Obviously one can link to the same file from different entries in GRAMPS where-ever they are put, but it highlights that where it is obvious to 'put' a file when building may not help when accessing it later.

 

Here is my third draft generic folder structure after that conversation and reading on this list.

 

Ancestry folder----

-for each Family Branch
	-Docs Official (by Family by Person)
	-Docs Personal
		-Lastname Firstname
			-Biographic, creative, professional
			-Correspondence
	-Family trees & data various sources
	-Photos (by Family by Person)
	-Related Context (local history, period etc)(e.g. Monaro district, WW1)

 

I decided to separate 'official' datapoint building documents like birth certificates, and obituaries, from personal letters, biographic notes, interviews, professional CVs and creative output.

 

Depending on the number of files the spilts downwards 'Byfamily' and 'by Person' may or may not be used. (Windows OS limitation on pathway/filename length are an issue here too, at least if it leaves my Kubuntu installation, as well some non-friendly Windows characters are not used:-- / \ ' )

 

My current naming schema for files, that is the document is currently 2 pages long... with examples

I am using GRAMPS ID numbers in files names as a suffix to the name, (even for repositories) and actually create entries for genealogists not related to me so I can give copies of their work a GRAMPS ID.

(The source directories will be archived and compressed as is once all this is organized.) I use _ the underscore to suffix information to a datapoint and a - hyphen to separate, with dates I use . a dot i.e. 2017.02.14.

 

So Examples:

The file name for the photo of Green Hills Station I linked to above looks like (includes their original file name URIish thang at the end):

KerryCH-ca1890-photo-MrMontaguesGreenHillsStation-nla.obj-141608194-1

 

Official certificates follow this scheme but get a prefix Birth, Burial etc. E.G.--

Birth-1881.10.10-SurnameFirstname_I0001-NSW_R0001-2017.2.14-extract-scan

 

that's two dates, one for the material/primary/authority and an optional one for the date of creation or extraction of the electronic form itself....

 

Multiple types are possible: photo, extract, scan, screenshot (this last one is mostly from google maps satellite imagery of Poland.)

 

They look ugly by themselves but in a list on a screen the ordering becomes very apparent.... compared to the mess I had before.

 

 

meika

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Ron Johnson

One thing for newbies to note is that in Linux you can create multiple filenames (in different directories) for a single file, using "symbolic links".  Thus a single copy of a wedding photo can be on disk, but have however many number of "file names" that you choose.

I think that Windows has something like this, but doesn't seem to be very popular or widely used.

On 02/24/2017 05:39 PM, [hidden email] wrote:

 

On Friday, 24 February 2017 9:03:00 PM AEDT Peter Merchant [hidden email] on [hidden email] wrote:

> The second point on there is 'get it on the computer'. I would like to

> add to that to think of a folder structure that fits your needs and also

> think of a file naming format.

>

> My structure is a high level folder called 'Ancestry' with sub-folders

> for each branch of the family, such as 'Merchant' (fathers side) 'white'

> (mothers side) 'Burkey' (paternal Grandmothers side) etc.

> and sub-folders in these as required.

 

Yes, I've just started using GRAMPS in the last two weeks after importing a decade old GEDCOM file. I started off exploring GRAMPS by looking at places:- enclosing places, adding data like co-ordinates and actually finding where Green Hills Station is or was exactly.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-141608194/view

 

Getting to grips with GRAMPS made it clear early on that working out file naming and directory/folder structure was paramount. Especially with a mishmash of decade old electronic files.

 

Talking with a historian as to how to organise files & folders we discussed that a structure for actively building research requires a different emphasis, compared to later accessing and working with the research documents. This came up when I mentioned previous chatter on this list as to where to 'put' certificates, by EVENT or with the primary Person. She said I just put it everywhere. Duplicating? I said. Yep, makes it easy to find later.

 

Key word: Later.

 

Obviously one can link to the same file from different entries in GRAMPS where-ever they are put, but it highlights that where it is obvious to 'put' a file when building may not help when accessing it later.

 

Here is my third draft generic folder structure after that conversation and reading on this list.

 

Ancestry folder----

-for each Family Branch
	-Docs Official (by Family by Person)
	-Docs Personal
		-Lastname Firstname
			-Biographic, creative, professional
			-Correspondence
	-Family trees & data various sources
	-Photos (by Family by Person)
	-Related Context (local history, period etc)(e.g. Monaro district, WW1)

 

I decided to separate 'official' datapoint building documents like birth certificates, and obituaries, from personal letters, biographic notes, interviews, professional CVs and creative output.

 

Depending on the number of files the spilts downwards 'Byfamily' and 'by Person' may or may not be used. (Windows OS limitation on pathway/filename length are an issue here too, at least if it leaves my Kubuntu installation, as well some non-friendly Windows characters are not used:-- / \ ' )

 

My current naming schema for files, that is the document is currently 2 pages long... with examples

I am using GRAMPS ID numbers in files names as a suffix to the name, (even for repositories) and actually create entries for genealogists not related to me so I can give copies of their work a GRAMPS ID.

(The source directories will be archived and compressed as is once all this is organized.) I use _ the underscore to suffix information to a datapoint and a - hyphen to separate, with dates I use . a dot i.e. 2017.02.14.

 

So Examples:

The file name for the photo of Green Hills Station I linked to above looks like (includes their original file name URIish thang at the end):

KerryCH-ca1890-photo-MrMontaguesGreenHillsStation-nla.obj-141608194-1

 

Official certificates follow this scheme but get a prefix Birth, Burial etc. E.G.--

Birth-1881.10.10-SurnameFirstname_I0001-NSW_R0001-2017.2.14-extract-scan

 

that's two dates, one for the material/primary/authority and an optional one for the date of creation or extraction of the electronic form itself....

 

Multiple types are possible: photo, extract, scan, screenshot (this last one is mostly from google maps satellite imagery of Poland.)

 

They look ugly by themselves but in a list on a screen the ordering becomes very apparent.... compared to the mess I had before.

 

 

meika

 


-- 
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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Philip Weiss
In reply to this post by meikamona


On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 3:39 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:

 

On Friday, 24 February 2017 9:03:00 PM AEDT Peter Merchant <[hidden email]> on [hidden email] wrote:

> The second point on there is 'get it on the computer'. I would like to

> add to that to think of a folder structure that fits your needs and also

> think of a file naming format.

>

> My structure is a high level folder called 'Ancestry' with sub-folders

> for each branch of the family, such as 'Merchant' (fathers side) 'white'

> (mothers side) 'Burkey' (paternal Grandmothers side) etc.

> and sub-folders in these as required.

 

Yes, I've just started using GRAMPS in the last two weeks after importing a decade old GEDCOM file. I started off exploring GRAMPS by looking at places:- enclosing places, adding data like co-ordinates and actually finding where Green Hills Station is or was exactly.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-141608194/view

 

Getting to grips with GRAMPS made it clear early on that working out file naming and directory/folder structure was paramount. Especially with a mishmash of decade old electronic files.

 

Talking with a historian as to how to organise files & folders we discussed that a structure for actively building research requires a different emphasis, compared to later accessing and working with the research documents. This came up when I mentioned previous chatter on this list as to where to 'put' certificates, by EVENT or with the primary Person. She said I just put it everywhere. Duplicating? I said. Yep, makes it easy to find later.

 


This is where I'm going to recommend again Tony Proctor's excellent article on organizing digital files. http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2015/01/hierarchical-sources.html

The short version, is that he recommends organizing them by source, not by person or event. Within directories, basically maintaining the same record order as that of their creator. I've been doing this for 2 years and his has revolutionized my organization.  About the only re-organizing I've had to do since switching to this scheme is breaking up my Newspapers directory into one for each jurisdiction (e.g., state/province/small country) to ease searching in it.  My Newspapers directory looks something like:
  • Newspapers
    • Washington
      • Monroe Monitor
        • 1928-06-13 - page 5 col 3 - A Baby Was Born.pdf
      • Seattle Times
        • 1947-07-10 - page 39 col 1 - Births Yesterday.pdf
        • 1948-11-25 - page 10 col 4 - Births Yesterday.pdf
        • 1970-07-12 - page A7 col 1 - Born Yesterday.pdf
    • Wisconsin
      • Capital Times (Madison)
        • 1960-11-08 - page 12 col 2 - Joseph Weiss.pdf
        • 1964-11-27 - page 20 col 1 - Mrs Weiss Rites.pdf
      • Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)
        • 1960-11-08 - sec 1 page 6 col 8 - Joseph Weiss.pdf

Etc.  I do something similar for other kinds of sources.

  • Vital Records
    • Washington
      • King County Vital Statistics
        • Birth Records
          • Certificate 47-023555 - George Robert Weiss.png
          • Certificate 48-010001 - Dorinda Lou Hathaway.png
          • Certificate 70-345678 - Philip Andrew Weiss.png
        • Death Records
          • Certificate 72-678111 - George Robert Weiss.png
      • Whatcom County Auditor
        • Death Records
          • Certificate 2001-784849 - Matthew Thomas Bender.png
          • Certificate 2008-837484 - Dorinda Lou Bender.png
I currently have about 7000 files organized this way.  You don't *have* to do things the way Tony Proctor recommends.  But I can say I've never had to think twice about which person/family/branch to file something under since I started doing this.  It's the second best decision I've made on how I do genealogy. (First best, switching to Gramps.)

Phil.

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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Peter (chamdo4ever)
Huge +1 to what Phil says below. Tony Proctor's blog post was a game
changer for me too. The only thing that Phil and I might disagree on
is that I still keep the files organized by repositories at the top
level, and then by sources within each repository.

Peter

On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 7:23 PM, Philip Weiss
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
><SNIP>
>
> This is where I'm going to recommend again Tony Proctor's excellent article
> on organizing digital files.
> http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2015/01/hierarchical-sources.html
>
> The short version, is that he recommends organizing them by source, not by
> person or event. Within directories, basically maintaining the same record
> order as that of their creator. I've been doing this for 2 years and his has
> revolutionized my organization.  About the only re-organizing I've had to do
> since switching to this scheme is breaking up my Newspapers directory into
> one for each jurisdiction (e.g., state/province/small country) to ease
> searching in it.  My Newspapers directory looks something like:
>
> Newspapers
>
> Washington
>
> Monroe Monitor
>
> 1928-06-13 - page 5 col 3 - A Baby Was Born.pdf
>
> Seattle Times
>
> 1947-07-10 - page 39 col 1 - Births Yesterday.pdf
> 1948-11-25 - page 10 col 4 - Births Yesterday.pdf
> 1970-07-12 - page A7 col 1 - Born Yesterday.pdf
>
> Wisconsin
>
> Capital Times (Madison)
>
> 1960-11-08 - page 12 col 2 - Joseph Weiss.pdf
> 1964-11-27 - page 20 col 1 - Mrs Weiss Rites.pdf
>
> Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)
>
> 1960-11-08 - sec 1 page 6 col 8 - Joseph Weiss.pdf
>
>
> Etc.  I do something similar for other kinds of sources.
>
> Vital Records
>
> Washington
>
> King County Vital Statistics
>
> Birth Records
>
> Certificate 47-023555 - George Robert Weiss.png
> Certificate 48-010001 - Dorinda Lou Hathaway.png
> Certificate 70-345678 - Philip Andrew Weiss.png
>
> Death Records
>
> Certificate 72-678111 - George Robert Weiss.png
>
> Whatcom County Auditor
>
> Death Records
>
> Certificate 2001-784849 - Matthew Thomas Bender.png
> Certificate 2008-837484 - Dorinda Lou Bender.png
>
> I currently have about 7000 files organized this way.  You don't *have* to
> do things the way Tony Proctor recommends.  But I can say I've never had to
> think twice about which person/family/branch to file something under since I
> started doing this.  It's the second best decision I've made on how I do
> genealogy. (First best, switching to Gramps.)
>
> Phil.

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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Jamison Roberts

I guess I have a totally different thought process on this.  I've only been using Gramps for 1 month, but researching for about 4 years.  Early on a decision I had to make was how to categorize generations.  Who is Generation 1 for instance? Since there is no way to know, what I did was decide I was generation 25.  It is totally arbitrary.  Based on average length between generational births over 10 generations, I had an average of something like 27.5 years.

25 generations at 27.5 years gets me back to about year 1300 for Generation 1.  I'm certain I'll never reach that in any line.  Furthermore, I really only care about lineage right now.

With that bit of background, and keep in mind this is "BG" (Before Gramps), I arrived at a structure of:
Ancestry
    -Lineage
        -Generation 25
            -LastName, FirstName MI
    -Extended
        -Generation 25
           -LastName, FirstName, MI

Of course i have many more generations and many more names.

I just store relevant documents inside the right directories.  LastName, FirstName - Document Type.ext

For actual source and citations, I've been painstakingly creating my tree from scratch and making sure the data is clean upon entry.  Did not import Gedcom though I was tempted.

My thought on this matter is that the directory and file structure should make sense if there were no other repository on top of it.  Gramps is for serious organizing.  Should that resource disappear, hopefully the directory structure is enough for people to figure out what I was up to.

Also, I have a massive word document where I have a structure similar to the directory structure, and I write mini biographies for each person and explain what I came to one conclusion versus another.  For the time being I've been adding them as notes to each person, but the formatting is lost and I don't know if it is long term right way.




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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Dave Gilmore
In reply to this post by Philip Weiss

Hi Philip,

    I know you have been promoting this methodology for quite a while now, and I am likely going to move towards it myself. Records you find are easy enough. I'm not quite sure how to handle photos, though. I have quite a few photos from Christmas' past (and am uncertain on their years). I know where the photos were taken and who was in them. But not who took it, or when exactly. Also, what about those random pictures I have of my mom and her siblings in front of some relative's house that she can't remember?

Dave

On 2/24/2017 4:23 PM, Philip Weiss wrote:


On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 3:39 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:

 

On Friday, 24 February 2017 9:03:00 PM AEDT Peter Merchant <[hidden email]> on [hidden email] wrote:

> The second point on there is 'get it on the computer'. I would like to

> add to that to think of a folder structure that fits your needs and also

> think of a file naming format.

>

> My structure is a high level folder called 'Ancestry' with sub-folders

> for each branch of the family, such as 'Merchant' (fathers side) 'white'

> (mothers side) 'Burkey' (paternal Grandmothers side) etc.

> and sub-folders in these as required.

 

Yes, I've just started using GRAMPS in the last two weeks after importing a decade old GEDCOM file. I started off exploring GRAMPS by looking at places:- enclosing places, adding data like co-ordinates and actually finding where Green Hills Station is or was exactly.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-141608194/view

 

Getting to grips with GRAMPS made it clear early on that working out file naming and directory/folder structure was paramount. Especially with a mishmash of decade old electronic files.

 

Talking with a historian as to how to organise files & folders we discussed that a structure for actively building research requires a different emphasis, compared to later accessing and working with the research documents. This came up when I mentioned previous chatter on this list as to where to 'put' certificates, by EVENT or with the primary Person. She said I just put it everywhere. Duplicating? I said. Yep, makes it easy to find later.

 


This is where I'm going to recommend again Tony Proctor's excellent article on organizing digital files. http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2015/01/hierarchical-sources.html

The short version, is that he recommends organizing them by source, not by person or event. Within directories, basically maintaining the same record order as that of their creator. I've been doing this for 2 years and his has revolutionized my organization.  About the only re-organizing I've had to do since switching to this scheme is breaking up my Newspapers directory into one for each jurisdiction (e.g., state/province/small country) to ease searching in it.  My Newspapers directory looks something like:
  • Newspapers
    • Washington
      • Monroe Monitor
        • 1928-06-13 - page 5 col 3 - A Baby Was Born.pdf
      • Seattle Times
        • 1947-07-10 - page 39 col 1 - Births Yesterday.pdf
        • 1948-11-25 - page 10 col 4 - Births Yesterday.pdf
        • 1970-07-12 - page A7 col 1 - Born Yesterday.pdf
    • Wisconsin
      • Capital Times (Madison)
        • 1960-11-08 - page 12 col 2 - Joseph Weiss.pdf
        • 1964-11-27 - page 20 col 1 - Mrs Weiss Rites.pdf
      • Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)
        • 1960-11-08 - sec 1 page 6 col 8 - Joseph Weiss.pdf

Etc.  I do something similar for other kinds of sources.

  • Vital Records
    • Washington
      • King County Vital Statistics
        • Birth Records
          • Certificate 47-023555 - George Robert Weiss.png
          • Certificate 48-010001 - Dorinda Lou Hathaway.png
          • Certificate 70-345678 - Philip Andrew Weiss.png
        • Death Records
          • Certificate 72-678111 - George Robert Weiss.png
      • Whatcom County Auditor
        • Death Records
          • Certificate 2001-784849 - Matthew Thomas Bender.png
          • Certificate 2008-837484 - Dorinda Lou Bender.png
I currently have about 7000 files organized this way.  You don't *have* to do things the way Tony Proctor recommends.  But I can say I've never had to think twice about which person/family/branch to file something under since I started doing this.  It's the second best decision I've made on how I do genealogy. (First best, switching to Gramps.)

Phil.


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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Ron Johnson
In reply to this post by Philip Weiss

Create a top level hierarchy named "Family Photos".  Under that, choose either "Year" or "Place", depending on what best fits your information.

Note that the Year could be a range ("1950s", "1960s"), and the Place can be ambiguous, too ("Greater East Fenwick" alongside "East Fenwick").

On 02/27/2017 02:52 PM, Dave Gilmore wrote:

Hi Philip,

    I know you have been promoting this methodology for quite a while now, and I am likely going to move towards it myself. Records you find are easy enough. I'm not quite sure how to handle photos, though. I have quite a few photos from Christmas' past (and am uncertain on their years). I know where the photos were taken and who was in them. But not who took it, or when exactly. Also, what about those random pictures I have of my mom and her siblings in front of some relative's house that she can't remember?

Dave

On 2/24/2017 4:23 PM, Philip Weiss wrote:


On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 3:39 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:

 

On Friday, 24 February 2017 9:03:00 PM AEDT Peter Merchant <[hidden email]> on [hidden email] wrote:

> The second point on there is 'get it on the computer'. I would like to

> add to that to think of a folder structure that fits your needs and also

> think of a file naming format.

>

> My structure is a high level folder called 'Ancestry' with sub-folders

> for each branch of the family, such as 'Merchant' (fathers side) 'white'

> (mothers side) 'Burkey' (paternal Grandmothers side) etc.

> and sub-folders in these as required.

 

Yes, I've just started using GRAMPS in the last two weeks after importing a decade old GEDCOM file. I started off exploring GRAMPS by looking at places:- enclosing places, adding data like co-ordinates and actually finding where Green Hills Station is or was exactly.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-141608194/view

 

Getting to grips with GRAMPS made it clear early on that working out file naming and directory/folder structure was paramount. Especially with a mishmash of decade old electronic files.

 

Talking with a historian as to how to organise files & folders we discussed that a structure for actively building research requires a different emphasis, compared to later accessing and working with the research documents. This came up when I mentioned previous chatter on this list as to where to 'put' certificates, by EVENT or with the primary Person. She said I just put it everywhere. Duplicating? I said. Yep, makes it easy to find later.

 


This is where I'm going to recommend again Tony Proctor's excellent article on organizing digital files. http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2015/01/hierarchical-sources.html

The short version, is that he recommends organizing them by source, not by person or event. Within directories, basically maintaining the same record order as that of their creator. I've been doing this for 2 years and his has revolutionized my organization.  About the only re-organizing I've had to do since switching to this scheme is breaking up my Newspapers directory into one for each jurisdiction (e.g., state/province/small country) to ease searching in it.  My Newspapers directory looks something like:
  • Newspapers
    • Washington
      • Monroe Monitor
        • 1928-06-13 - page 5 col 3 - A Baby Was Born.pdf
      • Seattle Times
        • 1947-07-10 - page 39 col 1 - Births Yesterday.pdf
        • 1948-11-25 - page 10 col 4 - Births Yesterday.pdf
        • 1970-07-12 - page A7 col 1 - Born Yesterday.pdf
    • Wisconsin
      • Capital Times (Madison)
        • 1960-11-08 - page 12 col 2 - Joseph Weiss.pdf
        • 1964-11-27 - page 20 col 1 - Mrs Weiss Rites.pdf
      • Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)
        • 1960-11-08 - sec 1 page 6 col 8 - Joseph Weiss.pdf

Etc.  I do something similar for other kinds of sources.

  • Vital Records
    • Washington
      • King County Vital Statistics
        • Birth Records
          • Certificate 47-023555 - George Robert Weiss.png
          • Certificate 48-010001 - Dorinda Lou Hathaway.png
          • Certificate 70-345678 - Philip Andrew Weiss.png
        • Death Records
          • Certificate 72-678111 - George Robert Weiss.png
      • Whatcom County Auditor
        • Death Records
          • Certificate 2001-784849 - Matthew Thomas Bender.png
          • Certificate 2008-837484 - Dorinda Lou Bender.png
I currently have about 7000 files organized this way.  You don't *have* to do things the way Tony Proctor recommends.  But I can say I've never had to think twice about which person/family/branch to file something under since I started doing this.  It's the second best decision I've made on how I do genealogy. (First best, switching to Gramps.)


-- 
World Peace Through Nuclear Pacification

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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Philip Weiss
In reply to this post by Dave Gilmore


On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Dave Gilmore <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Philip,

    I know you have been promoting this methodology for quite a while now, and I am likely going to move towards it myself. Records you find are easy enough. I'm not quite sure how to handle photos, though. I have quite a few photos from Christmas' past (and am uncertain on their years). I know where the photos were taken and who was in them. But not who took it, or when exactly. Also, what about those random pictures I have of my mom and her siblings in front of some relative's house that she can't remember?

Dave

I have a set of sub-folders for Individuals, when I know the provenance for photos.  Note that this does not mean I know who took the photos, just who collected them.
  • Individuals
    • Frances Weiss
      • Gold Album
      • Black Album
      • Letters
      • Cards
      • Miscellaneous
    • Dorinda Bender
      • 1978 album
      • 1979 album
      • Loose photos
    • Cleo Hathaway
      • Tax returns
      • Cruise photos (he had these in a series of envelopes)
      • Memorabilia
    • Philip Weiss (this is where I put collections I've created myself or where I can't remember where I got them. Most aren't ones I took until my college years. )
      • School
      • Memorabilia
I haven't yet figured out a great naming scheme for the files themselves.  For the most part, they get named in the order I go through them, with a new number and names of people in the photos if known or general description if too many people.  Like:
  • 00001 - Mary Parker Ryan.jpg
  • 00002 - William Dennis Ryan.jpg
  • 00003 - 1906 Family Reunion - 001.jpg
  • 00004 - 1906 Family Reunion - 002.jpg
  • 00005.jpg (has unidentified person)
Note that I "go through them" in the best natural order I can, which kinda has to be judged individually.  For an album, it's easy.  For a box of miscellaneous photos it's tougher.  I do generally try to keep related photos together.  So if there was a "sorta" stack of photos in the corner of the box I went through those top to bottom.  The idea being if they were related I don't want to lose that.  But there's only so much I can do and I don't have any archival training.

One thing I found that didn't really work for me was putting the date first on the filename.  As noted in the previous message, I use dates on my newspaper scans.  But so many photos I have no dates or only approximate dates.  The first set of photos scanned I prepended the date when I had it and only had the "order number" first when I didn't.  That results in very odd ordering.  So I just use the order number now.

I also make extensive use of EXIF/XMP meta-data for photos.  That's really useful for group photos or other descriptions, adding photographers on the odd occasion I know who it was, etc.  Unlike others, I don't try to get everything I need to know about a photo into its filename. I don't have an issue with people who do try, but I mostly gave up on it.

I hope this gives you ideas.

Phil.



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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Dave Gilmore

That makes perfect sense. Thanks.

This JUST happened 30 minutes ago, and I'm glad it did during the course of our conversation as I run into this a lot and am not sure how to organize and give provenance.

My wife's cousin, let's call her Marge, emailed my wife a bunch of pictures she scanned from some boxes in her father's house. Would you do Individuals -> Marge -> Emails -> Title of Email -> Photo1, photo 2, etc etc? Or Individuals -> Marge's Dad, unknown box -> photo1, photo2, photo3? Or something else?

Dave

On 2/27/2017 1:44 PM, Philip Weiss wrote:


On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Dave Gilmore <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Philip,

    I know you have been promoting this methodology for quite a while now, and I am likely going to move towards it myself. Records you find are easy enough. I'm not quite sure how to handle photos, though. I have quite a few photos from Christmas' past (and am uncertain on their years). I know where the photos were taken and who was in them. But not who took it, or when exactly. Also, what about those random pictures I have of my mom and her siblings in front of some relative's house that she can't remember?

Dave

I have a set of sub-folders for Individuals, when I know the provenance for photos.  Note that this does not mean I know who took the photos, just who collected them.
  • Individuals
    • Frances Weiss
      • Gold Album
      • Black Album
      • Letters
      • Cards
      • Miscellaneous
    • Dorinda Bender
      • 1978 album
      • 1979 album
      • Loose photos
    • Cleo Hathaway
      • Tax returns
      • Cruise photos (he had these in a series of envelopes)
      • Memorabilia
    • Philip Weiss (this is where I put collections I've created myself or where I can't remember where I got them. Most aren't ones I took until my college years. )
      • School
      • Memorabilia
I haven't yet figured out a great naming scheme for the files themselves.  For the most part, they get named in the order I go through them, with a new number and names of people in the photos if known or general description if too many people.  Like:
  • 00001 - Mary Parker Ryan.jpg
  • 00002 - William Dennis Ryan.jpg
  • 00003 - 1906 Family Reunion - 001.jpg
  • 00004 - 1906 Family Reunion - 002.jpg
  • 00005.jpg (has unidentified person)
Note that I "go through them" in the best natural order I can, which kinda has to be judged individually.  For an album, it's easy.  For a box of miscellaneous photos it's tougher.  I do generally try to keep related photos together.  So if there was a "sorta" stack of photos in the corner of the box I went through those top to bottom.  The idea being if they were related I don't want to lose that.  But there's only so much I can do and I don't have any archival training.

One thing I found that didn't really work for me was putting the date first on the filename.  As noted in the previous message, I use dates on my newspaper scans.  But so many photos I have no dates or only approximate dates.  The first set of photos scanned I prepended the date when I had it and only had the "order number" first when I didn't.  That results in very odd ordering.  So I just use the order number now.

I also make extensive use of EXIF/XMP meta-data for photos.  That's really useful for group photos or other descriptions, adding photographers on the odd occasion I know who it was, etc.  Unlike others, I don't try to get everything I need to know about a photo into its filename. I don't have an issue with people who do try, but I mostly gave up on it.

I hope this gives you ideas.

Phil.




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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Dave Gilmore
In reply to this post by Ron Johnson

Good points, Ron. Thanks


On 2/27/2017 1:12 PM, Ron Johnson wrote:

Create a top level hierarchy named "Family Photos".  Under that, choose either "Year" or "Place", depending on what best fits your information.

Note that the Year could be a range ("1950s", "1960s"), and the Place can be ambiguous, too ("Greater East Fenwick" alongside "East Fenwick").

On 02/27/2017 02:52 PM, Dave Gilmore wrote:

Hi Philip,

    I know you have been promoting this methodology for quite a while now, and I am likely going to move towards it myself. Records you find are easy enough. I'm not quite sure how to handle photos, though. I have quite a few photos from Christmas' past (and am uncertain on their years). I know where the photos were taken and who was in them. But not who took it, or when exactly. Also, what about those random pictures I have of my mom and her siblings in front of some relative's house that she can't remember?

Dave

On 2/24/2017 4:23 PM, Philip Weiss wrote:


On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 3:39 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:

 

On Friday, 24 February 2017 9:03:00 PM AEDT Peter Merchant <[hidden email]> on [hidden email] wrote:

> The second point on there is 'get it on the computer'. I would like to

> add to that to think of a folder structure that fits your needs and also

> think of a file naming format.

>

> My structure is a high level folder called 'Ancestry' with sub-folders

> for each branch of the family, such as 'Merchant' (fathers side) 'white'

> (mothers side) 'Burkey' (paternal Grandmothers side) etc.

> and sub-folders in these as required.

 

Yes, I've just started using GRAMPS in the last two weeks after importing a decade old GEDCOM file. I started off exploring GRAMPS by looking at places:- enclosing places, adding data like co-ordinates and actually finding where Green Hills Station is or was exactly.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-141608194/view

 

Getting to grips with GRAMPS made it clear early on that working out file naming and directory/folder structure was paramount. Especially with a mishmash of decade old electronic files.

 

Talking with a historian as to how to organise files & folders we discussed that a structure for actively building research requires a different emphasis, compared to later accessing and working with the research documents. This came up when I mentioned previous chatter on this list as to where to 'put' certificates, by EVENT or with the primary Person. She said I just put it everywhere. Duplicating? I said. Yep, makes it easy to find later.

 


This is where I'm going to recommend again Tony Proctor's excellent article on organizing digital files. http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2015/01/hierarchical-sources.html

The short version, is that he recommends organizing them by source, not by person or event. Within directories, basically maintaining the same record order as that of their creator. I've been doing this for 2 years and his has revolutionized my organization.  About the only re-organizing I've had to do since switching to this scheme is breaking up my Newspapers directory into one for each jurisdiction (e.g., state/province/small country) to ease searching in it.  My Newspapers directory looks something like:
  • Newspapers
    • Washington
      • Monroe Monitor
        • 1928-06-13 - page 5 col 3 - A Baby Was Born.pdf
      • Seattle Times
        • 1947-07-10 - page 39 col 1 - Births Yesterday.pdf
        • 1948-11-25 - page 10 col 4 - Births Yesterday.pdf
        • 1970-07-12 - page A7 col 1 - Born Yesterday.pdf
    • Wisconsin
      • Capital Times (Madison)
        • 1960-11-08 - page 12 col 2 - Joseph Weiss.pdf
        • 1964-11-27 - page 20 col 1 - Mrs Weiss Rites.pdf
      • Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)
        • 1960-11-08 - sec 1 page 6 col 8 - Joseph Weiss.pdf

Etc.  I do something similar for other kinds of sources.

  • Vital Records
    • Washington
      • King County Vital Statistics
        • Birth Records
          • Certificate 47-023555 - George Robert Weiss.png
          • Certificate 48-010001 - Dorinda Lou Hathaway.png
          • Certificate 70-345678 - Philip Andrew Weiss.png
        • Death Records
          • Certificate 72-678111 - George Robert Weiss.png
      • Whatcom County Auditor
        • Death Records
          • Certificate 2001-784849 - Matthew Thomas Bender.png
          • Certificate 2008-837484 - Dorinda Lou Bender.png
I currently have about 7000 files organized this way.  You don't *have* to do things the way Tony Proctor recommends.  But I can say I've never had to think twice about which person/family/branch to file something under since I started doing this.  It's the second best decision I've made on how I do genealogy. (First best, switching to Gramps.)


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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Philip Weiss
In reply to this post by Dave Gilmore
I'd probably do "Marge's Dad", with a subdirectory for something like "Boxes searched Feb 2017". Then if she finds another box from her dad, or a photo album of his, etc, I would give that a different subdirectory. 

I've got some subdirectories for emails, but mostly I use those for the text of the emails I get. The second cousin who sent me a few emails about her father, etc.  If I don't know that there's a box she searched, just some random photos she sent along with a story or two, then I'd make a directory structure more like your first example.  I've got some like that too.  Because in that case it feels more like my second cousin is the collector.

There's no hard and fast rules.  Basically, most things fall under the following structure.

Creator-type / Creator-or-collector / Series / individual-files

But then there's some sub-series, and sometimes I have so many creator-or-collector directories (something like 500 different newspaper titles in my sources) that I break those down by state/province/small country.

Phil.

On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 3:50 PM, Dave Gilmore <[hidden email]> wrote:

That makes perfect sense. Thanks.

This JUST happened 30 minutes ago, and I'm glad it did during the course of our conversation as I run into this a lot and am not sure how to organize and give provenance.

My wife's cousin, let's call her Marge, emailed my wife a bunch of pictures she scanned from some boxes in her father's house. Would you do Individuals -> Marge -> Emails -> Title of Email -> Photo1, photo 2, etc etc? Or Individuals -> Marge's Dad, unknown box -> photo1, photo2, photo3? Or something else?

Dave


On 2/27/2017 1:44 PM, Philip Weiss wrote:


On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Dave Gilmore <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Philip,

    I know you have been promoting this methodology for quite a while now, and I am likely going to move towards it myself. Records you find are easy enough. I'm not quite sure how to handle photos, though. I have quite a few photos from Christmas' past (and am uncertain on their years). I know where the photos were taken and who was in them. But not who took it, or when exactly. Also, what about those random pictures I have of my mom and her siblings in front of some relative's house that she can't remember?

Dave

I have a set of sub-folders for Individuals, when I know the provenance for photos.  Note that this does not mean I know who took the photos, just who collected them.
  • Individuals
    • Frances Weiss
      • Gold Album
      • Black Album
      • Letters
      • Cards
      • Miscellaneous
    • Dorinda Bender
      • 1978 album
      • 1979 album
      • Loose photos
    • Cleo Hathaway
      • Tax returns
      • Cruise photos (he had these in a series of envelopes)
      • Memorabilia
    • Philip Weiss (this is where I put collections I've created myself or where I can't remember where I got them. Most aren't ones I took until my college years. )
      • School
      • Memorabilia
I haven't yet figured out a great naming scheme for the files themselves.  For the most part, they get named in the order I go through them, with a new number and names of people in the photos if known or general description if too many people.  Like:
  • 00001 - Mary Parker Ryan.jpg
  • 00002 - William Dennis Ryan.jpg
  • 00003 - 1906 Family Reunion - 001.jpg
  • 00004 - 1906 Family Reunion - 002.jpg
  • 00005.jpg (has unidentified person)
Note that I "go through them" in the best natural order I can, which kinda has to be judged individually.  For an album, it's easy.  For a box of miscellaneous photos it's tougher.  I do generally try to keep related photos together.  So if there was a "sorta" stack of photos in the corner of the box I went through those top to bottom.  The idea being if they were related I don't want to lose that.  But there's only so much I can do and I don't have any archival training.

One thing I found that didn't really work for me was putting the date first on the filename.  As noted in the previous message, I use dates on my newspaper scans.  But so many photos I have no dates or only approximate dates.  The first set of photos scanned I prepended the date when I had it and only had the "order number" first when I didn't.  That results in very odd ordering.  So I just use the order number now.

I also make extensive use of EXIF/XMP meta-data for photos.  That's really useful for group photos or other descriptions, adding photographers on the odd occasion I know who it was, etc.  Unlike others, I don't try to get everything I need to know about a photo into its filename. I don't have an issue with people who do try, but I mostly gave up on it.

I hope this gives you ideas.

Phil.





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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Ron Johnson
In reply to this post by Philip Weiss

At some point, someone will ask, "who in the heck is Marge?"

On 02/27/2017 05:50 PM, Dave Gilmore wrote:

That makes perfect sense. Thanks.

This JUST happened 30 minutes ago, and I'm glad it did during the course of our conversation as I run into this a lot and am not sure how to organize and give provenance.

My wife's cousin, let's call her Marge, emailed my wife a bunch of pictures she scanned from some boxes in her father's house. Would you do Individuals -> Marge -> Emails -> Title of Email -> Photo1, photo 2, etc etc? Or Individuals -> Marge's Dad, unknown box -> photo1, photo2, photo3? Or something else?

Dave

On 2/27/2017 1:44 PM, Philip Weiss wrote:


On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Dave Gilmore <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Philip,

    I know you have been promoting this methodology for quite a while now, and I am likely going to move towards it myself. Records you find are easy enough. I'm not quite sure how to handle photos, though. I have quite a few photos from Christmas' past (and am uncertain on their years). I know where the photos were taken and who was in them. But not who took it, or when exactly. Also, what about those random pictures I have of my mom and her siblings in front of some relative's house that she can't remember?

Dave

I have a set of sub-folders for Individuals, when I know the provenance for photos.  Note that this does not mean I know who took the photos, just who collected them.
  • Individuals
    • Frances Weiss
      • Gold Album
      • Black Album
      • Letters
      • Cards
      • Miscellaneous
    • Dorinda Bender
      • 1978 album
      • 1979 album
      • Loose photos
    • Cleo Hathaway
      • Tax returns
      • Cruise photos (he had these in a series of envelopes)
      • Memorabilia
    • Philip Weiss (this is where I put collections I've created myself or where I can't remember where I got them. Most aren't ones I took until my college years. )
      • School
      • Memorabilia
I haven't yet figured out a great naming scheme for the files themselves.  For the most part, they get named in the order I go through them, with a new number and names of people in the photos if known or general description if too many people.  Like:
  • 00001 - Mary Parker Ryan.jpg
  • 00002 - William Dennis Ryan.jpg
  • 00003 - 1906 Family Reunion - 001.jpg
  • 00004 - 1906 Family Reunion - 002.jpg
  • 00005.jpg (has unidentified person)
Note that I "go through them" in the best natural order I can, which kinda has to be judged individually.  For an album, it's easy.  For a box of miscellaneous photos it's tougher.  I do generally try to keep related photos together.  So if there was a "sorta" stack of photos in the corner of the box I went through those top to bottom.  The idea being if they were related I don't want to lose that.  But there's only so much I can do and I don't have any archival training.

One thing I found that didn't really work for me was putting the date first on the filename.  As noted in the previous message, I use dates on my newspaper scans.  But so many photos I have no dates or only approximate dates.  The first set of photos scanned I prepended the date when I had it and only had the "order number" first when I didn't.  That results in very odd ordering.  So I just use the order number now.

I also make extensive use of EXIF/XMP meta-data for photos.  That's really useful for group photos or other descriptions, adding photographers on the odd occasion I know who it was, etc.  Unlike others, I don't try to get everything I need to know about a photo into its filename. I don't have an issue with people who do try, but I mostly gave up on it.

I hope this gives you ideas.


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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Dave Gilmore

Yeah, in this scenario, Marge is more of the facilitator of transfer. Kind of how we get Census records off of FamilySearch. Ultimately, the source is the box in the repository of her Dad's house. He should be the person it gets files under and the box it is in a sub folder of his. But, technically, that's not how I got it. The first method is. I'll probably add a note or something to the media object


On 2/27/2017 4:17 PM, Ron Johnson wrote:

At some point, someone will ask, "who in the heck is Marge?"

On 02/27/2017 05:50 PM, Dave Gilmore wrote:

That makes perfect sense. Thanks.

This JUST happened 30 minutes ago, and I'm glad it did during the course of our conversation as I run into this a lot and am not sure how to organize and give provenance.

My wife's cousin, let's call her Marge, emailed my wife a bunch of pictures she scanned from some boxes in her father's house. Would you do Individuals -> Marge -> Emails -> Title of Email -> Photo1, photo 2, etc etc? Or Individuals -> Marge's Dad, unknown box -> photo1, photo2, photo3? Or something else?

Dave

On 2/27/2017 1:44 PM, Philip Weiss wrote:


On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Dave Gilmore <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Philip,

    I know you have been promoting this methodology for quite a while now, and I am likely going to move towards it myself. Records you find are easy enough. I'm not quite sure how to handle photos, though. I have quite a few photos from Christmas' past (and am uncertain on their years). I know where the photos were taken and who was in them. But not who took it, or when exactly. Also, what about those random pictures I have of my mom and her siblings in front of some relative's house that she can't remember?

Dave

I have a set of sub-folders for Individuals, when I know the provenance for photos.  Note that this does not mean I know who took the photos, just who collected them.
  • Individuals
    • Frances Weiss
      • Gold Album
      • Black Album
      • Letters
      • Cards
      • Miscellaneous
    • Dorinda Bender
      • 1978 album
      • 1979 album
      • Loose photos
    • Cleo Hathaway
      • Tax returns
      • Cruise photos (he had these in a series of envelopes)
      • Memorabilia
    • Philip Weiss (this is where I put collections I've created myself or where I can't remember where I got them. Most aren't ones I took until my college years. )
      • School
      • Memorabilia
I haven't yet figured out a great naming scheme for the files themselves.  For the most part, they get named in the order I go through them, with a new number and names of people in the photos if known or general description if too many people.  Like:
  • 00001 - Mary Parker Ryan.jpg
  • 00002 - William Dennis Ryan.jpg
  • 00003 - 1906 Family Reunion - 001.jpg
  • 00004 - 1906 Family Reunion - 002.jpg
  • 00005.jpg (has unidentified person)
Note that I "go through them" in the best natural order I can, which kinda has to be judged individually.  For an album, it's easy.  For a box of miscellaneous photos it's tougher.  I do generally try to keep related photos together.  So if there was a "sorta" stack of photos in the corner of the box I went through those top to bottom.  The idea being if they were related I don't want to lose that.  But there's only so much I can do and I don't have any archival training.

One thing I found that didn't really work for me was putting the date first on the filename.  As noted in the previous message, I use dates on my newspaper scans.  But so many photos I have no dates or only approximate dates.  The first set of photos scanned I prepended the date when I had it and only had the "order number" first when I didn't.  That results in very odd ordering.  So I just use the order number now.

I also make extensive use of EXIF/XMP meta-data for photos.  That's really useful for group photos or other descriptions, adding photographers on the odd occasion I know who it was, etc.  Unlike others, I don't try to get everything I need to know about a photo into its filename. I don't have an issue with people who do try, but I mostly gave up on it.

I hope this gives you ideas.


--
World Peace Through Nuclear Pacification


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Re: Folder Structure & File Naming

Ron Johnson
In reply to this post by Ron Johnson

"Source" is "where it is" (Marge's dad's attic), not "how you got it" (from Marge).

On 02/27/2017 06:25 PM, Dave Gilmore wrote:

Yeah, in this scenario, Marge is more of the facilitator of transfer. Kind of how we get Census records off of FamilySearch. Ultimately, the source is the box in the repository of her Dad's house. He should be the person it gets files under and the box it is in a sub folder of his. But, technically, that's not how I got it. The first method is. I'll probably add a note or something to the media object


On 2/27/2017 4:17 PM, Ron Johnson wrote:

At some point, someone will ask, "who in the heck is Marge?"

On 02/27/2017 05:50 PM, Dave Gilmore wrote:

That makes perfect sense. Thanks.

This JUST happened 30 minutes ago, and I'm glad it did during the course of our conversation as I run into this a lot and am not sure how to organize and give provenance.

My wife's cousin, let's call her Marge, emailed my wife a bunch of pictures she scanned from some boxes in her father's house. Would you do Individuals -> Marge -> Emails -> Title of Email -> Photo1, photo 2, etc etc? Or Individuals -> Marge's Dad, unknown box -> photo1, photo2, photo3? Or something else?

Dave

On 2/27/2017 1:44 PM, Philip Weiss wrote:


On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 12:52 PM, Dave Gilmore <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Philip,

    I know you have been promoting this methodology for quite a while now, and I am likely going to move towards it myself. Records you find are easy enough. I'm not quite sure how to handle photos, though. I have quite a few photos from Christmas' past (and am uncertain on their years). I know where the photos were taken and who was in them. But not who took it, or when exactly. Also, what about those random pictures I have of my mom and her siblings in front of some relative's house that she can't remember?

Dave

I have a set of sub-folders for Individuals, when I know the provenance for photos.  Note that this does not mean I know who took the photos, just who collected them.
  • Individuals
    • Frances Weiss
      • Gold Album
      • Black Album
      • Letters
      • Cards
      • Miscellaneous
    • Dorinda Bender
      • 1978 album
      • 1979 album
      • Loose photos
    • Cleo Hathaway
      • Tax returns
      • Cruise photos (he had these in a series of envelopes)
      • Memorabilia
    • Philip Weiss (this is where I put collections I've created myself or where I can't remember where I got them. Most aren't ones I took until my college years. )
      • School
      • Memorabilia
I haven't yet figured out a great naming scheme for the files themselves.  For the most part, they get named in the order I go through them, with a new number and names of people in the photos if known or general description if too many people.  Like:
  • 00001 - Mary Parker Ryan.jpg
  • 00002 - William Dennis Ryan.jpg
  • 00003 - 1906 Family Reunion - 001.jpg
  • 00004 - 1906 Family Reunion - 002.jpg
  • 00005.jpg (has unidentified person)
Note that I "go through them" in the best natural order I can, which kinda has to be judged individually.  For an album, it's easy.  For a box of miscellaneous photos it's tougher.  I do generally try to keep related photos together.  So if there was a "sorta" stack of photos in the corner of the box I went through those top to bottom.  The idea being if they were related I don't want to lose that.  But there's only so much I can do and I don't have any archival training.

One thing I found that didn't really work for me was putting the date first on the filename.  As noted in the previous message, I use dates on my newspaper scans.  But so many photos I have no dates or only approximate dates.  The first set of photos scanned I prepended the date when I had it and only had the "order number" first when I didn't.  That results in very odd ordering.  So I just use the order number now.

I also make extensive use of EXIF/XMP meta-data for photos.  That's really useful for group photos or other descriptions, adding photographers on the odd occasion I know who it was, etc.  Unlike others, I don't try to get everything I need to know about a photo into its filename. I don't have an issue with people who do try, but I mostly gave up on it.

I hope this gives you ideas.

-- 
World Peace Through Nuclear Pacification

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