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From: Stephen Hayes
To: All
Date: 2003-12-25 19:25:34
Subject: Re: Writing a family history

* Forwarded (from: GEN_BRITAIN) by Stephen Hayes using timEd/2 1.10.y2k.
* Originally from Don Moody (8:8/2002) to All.
* Original dated: Tue Dec 23, 09:24

From: Don Moody <don{at}>

In message <200312231154.hBNBsUwT052015{at}>, Roy 
Stockdill <roy{at}> writes
>Designing and publishing your family history is a whole different
>ball-game in itself and I may post another message later,

The time is coming, if not already come, when publication of family 
history as a 'book' will no longer happen except for a few great 
families of interest to many people. The future (present?) lies with CD 
or even DVD. Many people already have the capacity to write CDs, and CDs 
have three great advantages:

1.      They are so cheap that as the history develops it is easy enough 
to throw away the previous edition and replace it with a new one.

2.      They are much the easiest way of storing 'visuals', especially 
in full colour.

3.      Compared to the length of run which makes colour printing 
sensible in books, doing colour work on CD is economical for a handful 
of 'private' copies.

Then comes the disadvantage.

Whereas there is plenty of advice based on centuries of book design, 
there is very little advice on how to exploit the capacity and nature of 
CDs by careful design. That design no longer has to be limited by the 
essentially linear nature of presentation of information in books. So 
there is need for some well-thought out advice on how to present a 
family history on CD. Would entering Great Aunt's name lead not only to 
the text page on which she is mentioned but also to any photos of her, 
alone or in a group, to bits of family tree which mention her, and even 
to a home recording of her piano-playing and singing at a family party? 
There are many possibilities which simply cannot be done in a printed 
book, but for which good design criteria are not well known.

I fear that without such guidance, home-produced CDs will be merely 
go-faster versions of the same mess as an unsorted pile of documents.


Dr D P Moody, Ashwood, Exeter Cross, Liverton, Newton Abbot, Devon,
England TQ12 6EY
Tel: +44(0) 1626 821725         Fax: +44(0) 1626 824912

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