Monthly Archives: February 2014

Why Archival Pens are Ideal for Genealogy

People who enjoy researching their family history may not be aware that archival pens are necessary for their research. It can be fun to spend hours on various websites finding out about this person or that person in your family, but, when the time comes to document the family tree, you want to make sure that you have the right tools.

Because genealogy is often a lot of digging through information to find the needle in your family haystack, you will want to document and make note of important happenings for future generations. Marriages, births, deaths and divorces, as well as family members who moved to a different area or country, are important for family trees. Using archival pens and acid free archival paper will help preserve your hard work and research for younger generations to use years from now.  The pigment in the special ink used in these pens is resistant to light fading, seeping, smudging and moisture, and, when paired with archival quality paper, you can create a family tree that will be legible several generations in the future.

No matter how obscure your family history, the process of researching it and documenting it for other family members is a task that only the truly dedicated will tackle. Following through on a 9 or 10 generation family tree only to find that your ink has smudged or faded after a few years is very frustrating. It is best to get the right tools for archiving your genealogy project from the beginning.

Tips for Organized Research Methods

If your research is something you are excited about, you are probably going to put more time into reading, observing, and experimenting than anything else. Writing the research in one document may end up feeling like the “red tape” of the whole process. However, if you organize it correctly, putting the final project together can be a smooth process. Make sure you have the right tools to start off with. You should have access to scholarly journals and archives, archival pens, and research notebooks. You will need to use these tools before you conduct your research, so now is a great time to set them up correctly.

You need to validate the reason for your research, so a section of your notebook should be reserved for the references and bibliography that will demonstrate the need for your project. Document this information and all other information with archival pens in order to avoid losing important information, now or later. Reserve this notebook for your references alone.

In a separate notebook you should document the progress of the research. This will be where you keep your observations and any personal notes along the way. The details of your subjects should be listed in another notebook so as to avoid bias. Any coding you use to mask the details for safety reasons should be kept in a different notebook, as well, so that at least two of these have to be used together to understand your entire project. By dividing your information and using professional research tools, you are not only organized enough to be able to easily put the entire picture together when you are done, but you are also preventing others from being able to easily put it together.

Tips for Creating Bibliographies

When working on a research project, an integral component is the research that is done to not only validate the findings of the project, but to also validate the reason for your research to exist at all. Have these questions been answered? Is there enough information to lead to this question or hypothesis? Is the information available from authentic, primary sources? Most importantly for validation purposes, have you documented all of your references in your research notebook?

If you don’t have your references documented in your research notebook, they may as well not exist. Your bibliography should contain enough resources to validate the need for your research, but can be complicated to put together. In your notebook, try labeling each source with a simple character, like one letter or number. Then, list related resources that can be compared or may demonstrate a cause and effect association. This makes it much easier for you to do your paper work, without worrying about the citations and references until you are putting the finishing touches on your final document.

After listing your references in groups, write up your bibliography, using the characters in place of the references. This will save you a lot of time and help you concentrate on the topic of the research rather than on the formatting of it. Once the written work is complete, use your “find and replace feature” to replace each character with the correct citation. Go over the paper when the references are complete, and make sure spacing and other formatting is correct, such as the hanging indents necessary for APA reference pages.

Using a Scientific Notebook for Your Science Fair Project

It is that time of year when many students are choosing projects for the annual science fair. The science fair is a means of demonstrating one’s love of science and passion for research. Those who voluntarily enter such competitions do so out of a love for the subject matter and the process of experimentation. Often these students have plans of pursuing a career in science. This is the perfect time to use a scientific notebook to document your project.

Within the bindings of your notebook, you will be documenting everything you investigate, your experiments, and perhaps even the design of your product. As a scientist, you will be required to keep detailed records of your work in such a notebook. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with its workings and the techniques used for maintaining it.

When you make a written record of your procedure, the observations you make along the way, the questions that arise from your experience and your findings, you make it easy for someone else to follow in your footsteps and retrace your path. This is crucial to verify results and can help answer questions that may arise later.

Label the scientific notebook with your name, the class or project name, and your contact information in case it is lost. Always write in smudge-proof ink rather than pencil. Number the pages and do not remove any. This lends credibility to your research. Don’t forget to create a table of contents so you can easily find the specific notes you want.

What Is Archival Ink?

Archival ink is specifically designed to be resistant to weathering and fading so that it will last for a long time. It is often used for scrapbooking and other activities where the written or drawn images need to be preserved indefinitely. To make the most of archival ink, it is best to use it in conjunction with archival paper, which is also made to resist weathering and fading. Archival ink is often sold through art supply stores. You can find it sold as ink, in archival pens and, in some instances, in printer cartridges used by photographers.

To be designated as archival grade ink, the ink must demonstrate two things: the ability to resist fading, and the ability to remain firmly on the page. With the passage of time, normal ink will begin to fade. Most black ink will turn brown, first, before completely disappearing from the page. Exposure to moisture can also wash out the ink, leaving it blurry, smeared or completely erased. By changing the chemical composition of the ink, these two factors are no longer a concern to the archivist.

Most archival inks could really be best described as dyes, in that they permanently change the color of the paper that is being used. Dye is more likely to remain colorfast to the extent that the dye’s components are colorfast. Pigment is an even more reliable component of archival ink, because it stays bright and durable as well as colorfast. This makes pigments popular for use in archival pens, inks and printer cartridges.