Genealogy has become one of the most popular hobbies out there. The growth in this field is no longer just something for the older generation, or the ultra-wealthy. People from across all age groups, nationalities and income levels are searching for information on their past. Have you been working up your own family history manuscript with the eventual purpose of printing and edition binding your own set of books?
As a book bindery specialized in short run lengths, we work with alot of these type of projects and I tend to hear many similar questions from these types of customer. So I have put together some links and suggestions I hope you find helpful here.
1) Choice of Paper and Cover Materials
Use an acid free paper so that the book will remain in good condition for generations to come. Make sure all end sheets and cover material options are suitable as well. Some of the text papers we stick to for this kind of work are: Finch Brightwhite (or Antique) and Accent Opaque. These are just a few of the standard choices we will suggest to you as a starting point.
* Always make sure the grain direction of your pages run parallel to the spine (binding) edge. Most good printers know this, but some will not–especially if they rarely deal with book printing and binding. Be sure to check. This will insure nice openability of pages after binding.
The appropriate margin is up to the end user, but from a manufacturing standpoint, we recommend using a gutter margin of atleast 5/8″ and about 1/2″ on the top, bottom and face edges.The “gutter” margin means it is the inside margin where the binding occurs.
3) Copyright, Library of Congress and ISBN bar codes
None of these items will matter all that much if this book is just being handed out to family members. More serious genealogists will want to go through all these steps and pocedures however if they plan to sell in bookstores or have distributed into public libraries. Here is a link to some information on this.
4) What software should I use?
There are many out there, ranging from simple to more complex: Microsoft Word or Publisher, Adobe In-Design and on to other proprietary family tree makers, etc. Be cautious of services such as Ancestry.com- which have proprietary family tree building tools to use, but then locks you in to printing only through their service when you are finally at that stage. From my perspective, I would not want to spend all the time building the book, only to find that I do not have sole ownership of the files at the end. While you may gather and find alot of useful information through one of these online services, be sure to extract the information you find and insert it into your own document.
5) What type of binding should I use?
We recommend Double Fan Adhesive or PUR adhesive binding for short run length family history books. Other options could be Oversewn, Smyth Sewn or side sewn depending on certain variables, page counts and other considerations.
Hopefully this information is helpful to you as you go through this journey of documenting your family history. Should you have any questions as to how the end product might look or need to be constructed, please feel free to call or mail me. Talking to the bindery at the early stages can save you some valuable time later on!
(C) Copyright 2013 Martin Pugh All Rights Reserved
Tips for producing your own Family History Book
October. That time of year when the the leaves start to fall. My beverage choice of cold iced tea moves to hot tea. Football and tailgate party weather takes hold. Halloween decorations come out and there’s the trips to haunted houses and …Family History Month!
Many states now recognize October as Family History Month. Genealogists and family history fans have latched on to that to take time to celebrate your family history in a number of ways. Perhaps just hosting a family get together is enough for some of us. With more than half of October already gone, there’s not too much time left, but here’s a few other ways to celebrate your Family History Month!
1) Take a trip to a genealogical Library to get started tracing your family tree
Start finding out and gathering information on your family tree at a genealogical library. Some of the most famous ones are The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT and the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN, however there are many other local and regional resource centers such as the Johnson County Public Library and the National Archives in Kansas City. Check your local genealogical societies as possible resources.
2) Start collecting, cataloging and preserving your family photos
Get the old photos out of their shoe boxes and all the various locations and store them in one spot, preferably in an archivaly stable closure. Never use clear tape on photographs to hold them in a scapbook as this will speed up the deterioriation of the photos. Collect disks and SD cards with photos and consider making hard copy prints as a backup.
3) Make a photobook or cook book or start your family’s genealogy book or an elder’s memoirs
-Many of our customers have online or offline photobook services which we can help point you to.
-Visit or call a distant relative you haven’t spoke to for some time and interview them for ideas.
-Compile all those family recipes before they get lost for the next generation.
-Start a notebook of family records, Birth Certificates, marriage licenses and other important documents.
-Contact us to see what type of options are available for the binding of your family history books or memoirs.
Well by the time you get through this list, the month will be over. Hope you have a great October and take some time to celebrate your Family History!
The weather was clear, about 75 degrees, and it was a lovely day in Springfield, IL. Just a nice day to start FGS 2011! From Sept 7-10 at the Prairie Center Convention Center. Houchen Bindery Ltd. is exhibiting at booth # 315.
8:15am – Just like our production procedures for edition binding, we at HBL have a checklist for setting up booths at trade show we attend: A fresh bouquet of flowers- usually Mums at the booth, Guestbook sign-in book, samples, plenty of pictures of HBL employees. With all this in place, I soon yearned for my morning coffee
As I came into the upper level of the Hilton ( across the street from the trade show hall)- these guys were setting up to perform the Civil War Color Guard re-enactment,
Here they are setting up to go into the conference hall and perform the color guard services., Graciously, they offered me a final photo before starting on their service.
The whole hall had every seat full at the Hilton opener of the Federation of Genealogy Society 2011 event.
Not a single seat was empty!!
On display at the Houchen Bindery Ltd. booth are many various examples of short run length family history books, genealogies and related edition binding work. The show has been an excellent opportunity to meet face to face with some customers, individuals and directors of many state and county historical societies across the country.
The wide array of binding work we now produce at Houchen Bindery Ltd is truly remarkable. Offering methods ranging from traditional oversewing, smyth sewn, side sewn, double fan, regular perfect binding and the revolutionary PUR binding, provides a customer true options for producing virtuallly any size project large or small.
For further information on these services, please contact Martin Pugh at Houchen Bindery Ltd.
email@example.com or 1-800-869-0420.
Copyright 2011 Martin Pugh All Rights Reserved.
If you have decided to get started with your own family history book, you will need to invest in some software to create your manuscript and layout. Simply put, there are many software choices for creating your manuscript out there. The best one and most stable one year in, year out is Microsoft Word. Use this and you are with the majority. Use other software, and there can be any number of of other problems in outputting the files, for a variety of reasons.
Secondary to this, you will likely be saving your files to a “multi-page” pdf file, to be sent to your printer for outputting. Regardless of what type of software you have used, here are a few more pointers:
* Use only ONE computer when producing your manuscript. Do not do part on a desktop computer and then part of the work on your laptop. What can happen when you do this is a phenomenon called Text Reflow. This is when, for example you look at a page on your laptop, it appears fine, no dangling widows, etc. Then you save to a disk and go back to work on a 2nd computer, you open it to find some type has “re-positioned” itself.
*Use only one software program for the entire manuscript. While I recommend Microsoft Word, it is not perfect, but is a stable software program. Most printing service providers will agree with me on this. Perhaps the best software (and also more expensive) used by professional graphic designers are Adobe InDesign & Quark Express. The only “knock” about these software programs is that they have a longer learning curve. If you are a “do-it-yourselfer” and want to get up and running quickly, just stick with Microsoft Word. I would avoid Microsoft Publisher. While it is very cheap, you get what you pay for. Many print service providers won’t even work with it, because of the Text Reflow issues.
After you get working with the software program, check with your printer and or binder. Give them an estimated number of pages and find out what type of margin requirements they will need to bind your book. I always recommend starting the conversation early with the people who are going to finish your project. It will save everyone alot of time, by avoiding having to re-do anything.
As always, there may be more questions, which is why I am always available to discuss your project needs by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at 1-800-869-0420.
Copyright 2011 Martin Pugh All Rights Reserved.