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How NOT to Clean a Tombstone for Find-A-Grave

Here is a sad bit of news: A man is suspected of damaging several historic graves with a wire brush recently at the New Providence Presbyterian Church on Stoney Point Road in Surgoinsville, Tennessee. He apparently used a wire brush to make the engravings on the tombstones easier to read. Now here is the worst part: he was “cleaning” the tombstones so that he could take pictures to be posted on Find-A-Grave.com!

Aaaarrrggghhh!

On July 15, church committee member Bill Davidson reported to the Surgoinsville Police Department that several tombstones had been “scrubbed” — possibly with a wire brush — causing damage to the old stones. The dark stain that builds up on tombstones over time was scrubbed clean in streaks over the engravings, and in some cases the engravings were rubbed almost smooth — to the point that the words are no longer legible. Davidson stated that some of the damaged tombstones date back to the 1700s, and some belong to Civil War veterans.

(+) How To Store Data in the Cloud

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.

I received a message from a newsletter reader, asking how to store a genealogy society’s huge collection of digital images on a safe and secure online service. The following is an excerpt from a longer message:

I noted your recent writing about cloud computing… Our genealogical society is struggling to determine the best back-up/storage solution for our growing files of electronic data. We are seriously into digitizing local county records. The archival images, as you know, are relatively large files. We already have close to 3 terabytes of data with a projected growth to circa 10 terabytes in the next 3 to 5 years if our digitizing and other electronic projects take off.

Having stable, secure storage is increasingly important to our society. We simply cannot leave this digital data at risk. And shipping 1 terabyte or 1.5 terabyte hard drives around among society digitizers and in-house e-publishers doesn’t seem like a very good solution. We are concerned about possible data loss from lost or damaged shipments and similar hazards. We also know that having a single copy is not sufficient; we need multiple copies for backup purposes. We have invested a lot of time and money in creating these images of records and cannot afford the risk of having single copies.

What is the best way to store such a significant and growing amount of data where we can add to it, have it securely backed-up, etc. Engage the services of a server farm? Do you have one to recommend? Use Mozy? Use Carbonite? Other?

Excellent questions! In fact, there are several possible answers. First, let me re-state the goals in my own words:

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