WARNING: This article contains personal opinions.
The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Paper. I have been drowning in it for years.
Genealogists soon learn to collect every scrap of information possible. We collect copies of birth certificates, marriage records, death certificates, census entries, military pension applications, deeds, and much, much more. I don’t know about you, but I have been collecting these bits of information as paper, mostly photocopies, for years. Over the past thirty+ years, I have probably spent thousands of dollars in photocopying fees!
I now have a four-drawer filing cabinet behind me as I write these words and another four-drawer filing cabinet in the basement. I have book shelves that are groaning under the weight of (printed) books. Since I don’t have enough room for all my books, many of them are stored in boxes in the basement, and I seem to never retrieve any of those books from storage. They lie there, year after year, gathering dust and mildew, providing information to no one.
Searching for information in hundreds of books stored in the basement is so time consuming and so impractical that it never gets done.
In addition to the thousands of dollars spent on photocopying fees, I have spent still more on filing cabinets, manila file folders, bookshelves, and more. Then there’s the books. I hate to think what I have spent for books! Postage charges alone have been more than I care to think about.