3942Searchable Filing System
- Apr 2, 2005Hi GangCan anyone help this gentleman?Alan CassleyHello ...
I write to ask if you or others you know may be able to provide assistance
with the matters summarized below. If you or they do are not able to assist
me directly, can you or they suggest who I might contact for assistance with
Also, you have my agreement to post this request for assistance on a
computerized "Bulletin Board" at ALBERTA FAMILY HISTORIES SOCIETY, if you
believe this might help me find the assistance I seek. If you do this,
please let me know it has been done AND advise how I can access that
Bulletin Board. Thank you.
I currently hold about 300 handwritten letters written between family
members over a 75 year period. I also have many other related historic
documents reaching back 200 years that I would like to digitize.
What I am looking for:
A) Someone to help me identify an off-the-shelf computer program that I
could readily use in the following ways?
B) ALTERNATIVELY, someone I could hire who would customize an existing
OFF-THE-SHELF PROGRAM so that I could then use it in the following ways:
What I expect to do and to accomplish:
1) I wish to type each and every letter, and to associate some key 'fields'
with each letter, such as:
- date of the letter
- place where letter was written from
- written by NAME
- written to NAME
- key topic or theme of the letter
- perhaps two, three, four or five key words that would help users to
cluster certain files/letters
- room, of course, for the full body of the text
- perhaps also room for a scanned (unsearchable) image of the letter itself
- I would prefer to place each typed letter and its related tags into a
separate file, rather than entering them all into a single file (though I'm
open to understanding why this may not be essential or the best way to go).
However, I would like my computer to recognize that the entire collection IS
single/related collection for use as detailed below.
2) Similarly, I would like to scan-in the many related historic documents,
one per file, and be able to attach information to each file such as:
- origin of the document
- description of the document
- key interesting facts about the document
- the scanned image itself
- again, I would prefer to place each document in a separate file, as part
of a collection of searchable files.
3) I would then like to be able to do searches on the entire collection of
letter-files and related document-files, AND be able to printout or
otherwise display the letters and documents that match my search criteria.
- list all letters that make reference to the individual John Doe or the
city of Philadelphia or the word "chocolate."
- then let me view and then print the documents I want
- let me imbed a particular file/letter/document OR a particular segment of
that file/letter/document into some other overview document that I prepare
which summarizes the highlights of the collection AND which allows me to
'footnote' the source file or document which is imbedded in the overview
Level of my own computer knowledge:
a) I use Microsoft Word, but do not believe this has the capabilities I
b) I have not used Microsoft Access ... but would be willing to learn it
(and to pay someone to design how I could maximize the use of Access, if
that is necessary).
c) I use ACDSee, a database program, to file and manage a large number of
d) I use Family Tree Maker, a database program, to file and manage a massive
amount of data regarding family history and genealogy
e) I use a scanner extensively (HP5590)
I contacted the Glenbow Museum for help with this. They suggested only that
I type all documents into one single Word file. They did speak of a
$100,000 program that they use for managing some of their many documents,
but realize this would not be a reasonable purchase for an individual user
such as myself.
Thank you for you assistance with this matter.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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