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Storing your Family History


'Storing Your Family History' and it's sister course, "Sharing your family history" can be purchased as individual 4 week courses or together as an 8-week course at a special bundle price. See: "What to do with your Family History?" course for more information.

Researching a family history generates a plethora of documents and information. What should you do with it all? On this 4-week evening course, delivered by a range of industry-leading experts, you will learn how to store your family history, plus how to preserve both physical and digital documents.

What will the course cover?


  • How to organise your documents
  • How and why you should create a catalogue of your documents
  • Tips for how to physically organise your paperwork
  • The essential steps to preparing your research for donation to the SoG and other archives
  • How to preserve your precious paper-based documents and photos


Time and Cost

Every Tuesday evening 6 to 7:30pm (includes discussions) from 18 April to 9 May 2023 on Zoom.  Each class is recorded and available to students for two weeks. New to Zoom and would like to attend an online talk but not sure how? Do contact us if you would like to arrange a free taster session.  Bookings will be accepted until 1st May.

Cost for 4 weeks study: £100.00/80.00 SoG Members.   To find out more about joining our society as a member, visit our membership page

What you will learn

  • Organising your family history: How to sort and find your documents with Nicola Waddington: There must be a better system than the pile of papers covering the floor or unlabelled shoeboxes under the bed! Nicola explains some techniques for organising your documents. How and why you should create a catalogue of your documents, creating references numbers. Some tips for physical organisation of your paperwork.
  • Leaving your family history: What to do with your Personal and Professional Family History Research Papers with Else Churchill, Clare O’Grady and Darris Williams: None of us will be here forever and there comes a time when it is necessary to consider passing on our research. We do not all have an interested family member, and our collection may include paperwork from other families. Else Churchill describes the Society of Genealogy policy for donating materials to the collection and guides us through preparing research for donation. We are joined by guests who share their policies and preferences. 
  • Preserving your family history. Paper documents and photos with Jordan Megyery: As genealogists we prize family photographs and generate a pile of precious documents such as newspaper clippings, birth certificates and other paperwork. We learn about the preservation of both paper-based documents and photographic materials encountered by genealogists.
  • Preserving your family history. Digital documents and photos with Graham Walter: Looking at documents that were created digitally, and how to digitise the paper records and photographs/slides. How to ensure the longevity of your digital archives.

Your tutors:

Clare O’Grady is currently an archive researcher at Herefordshire archives alongside having her own genealogy business:  Herefordshire Genealogy.  With an MSc in Genealogical studies from the University of Strathclyde, she is an experienced trainer and has been researching her own family tree for over 20 years with links to Hereford, Northampton and the Republic of Ireland.

Darris Williams began discovering his family history while stationed at RAF Alconbury in 1983. He has a bachelor’s degree in Family & Community History and he worked as a British reference consultant at the Family History Library for 15 years. The following years have been spent creating new record publications and help projects. Developing research and teaching skills continues to be a priority after 30 years as a FamilySearch employee. He was a co-founder of the FamilySearch wiki. Darris is presently the FamilySearch Wiki & Community Trees Manager, freelance genealogist, and family history instructor. He is currently a trustee of the Society of Genealogists.

Else Churchill is the Genealogist at the Society Genealogists in London and a has over 30 years of experience as a genealogist. Formerly a professional genealogical librarian and researcher, Else has worked for the SoG since 1994. She is the Society’s subject lead, working across the organisation and runs the publishing programme.

Graham Walter is an IT manager with Nissan and Renault in the UK and a professional member of the British Computer Society. He regularly gives talks for family history societies, has been an instructor at the British Institute in Salt Lake City, has given talks at the Who Do You Think You Are? Shows and for the Guild of One Name Studies. He is a regular tutor at the Society of Genealogists, specialising in using technology in genealogy.  He volunteers with the Society’s Educational Outreach programme as one of the "Census Detectives" and a familiar face at many family history fairs and conferences. He is currently a trustee of our society.

Jordan Megyery is currently conservator of contemporary art at Tate gallery in London where she specialises in the conservation of photographic materials. She has an MA Conservation of Fine Art from Northumbria University and studied Fine Art Photography as an undergraduate. Jordan has experience in the preservation of library, archive and fine art collections and is keen to share her knowledge with different audiences.

Nicola Waddington is a professionally qualified and Registered Archivist who runs the heritage consultancy, Archives Alive, which provides a wide variety of services in archive or museum development. She has worked as an Archivist for a wide variety of organisations and regularly gives talks and workshops on genealogy, tracing your local history, palaeography and research skills in English records.

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