Ever wanted to record and share your family history, but have no idea where to start? It can seem daunting: gathering all the information together, finding ways to store and organize it, and getting other relatives engaged. Arkiver is a platform that makes collecting and sharing family memories easier and more enjoyable and here are six reasons why Arkiver is a great tool for genealogists and family historians…

1) One beautiful place for all types of family history

Family archives can include all types of artifacts: photos, videos, documents, audio recordings, keepsakes, memorabilia, stories, and the list goes on. Typical photo sharing sites do not support all these different file formats and restrict you to just uploading photos and perhaps videos. Cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive support different file types but are folder based so not very user friendly for organizing, sharing and enjoying your memories.

With Arkiver you can upload files of all types:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Audio Recordings
  • Documents
  • Stories
  • Quotes

So what about physical keepsakes and larger family heirlooms? Sadly not everyone can have that antique end table at your Aunt’s house that has a permanent ring left by George Washington’s whiskey glass. With Arkiver though you can upload a picture of that heirloom and save the story behind it. You can even tell the story in your own voice using Arkiver’s audio recording feature.

 

2) Store everything in a place you control

At Arkiver, we believe your stuff belongs to you and you should control it. Unlike other services that store everything on their own servers and charge you a subscription fee for access, everything you upload to Arkiver is stored on your own Dropbox or Google Drive cloud storage account. This way, you can be sure you will always be able to access all those family history artifacts with or without Arkiver.

 

3) Organize things how you want

Part of the challenge of preserving family history is organizing it and Arkiver provides flexible tools to make this process simpler.

  • Collections – Rather than a file belonging to just one folder, the moments you add to Arkiver can be assigned to multiple collections without making multiple copies. For example, family historians can add a scan of Uncle Joe’s birth certificate to an “Important Documents” collection as well as to “Uncle Joe’s Early Childhood” collection.  
  • Tags & Filtering – Arkiver provides powerful tagging and filtering functionality, which makes organizing and finding items incredibly easy. Date and location tags are automatically assigned to moments based on the file metadata and you can easily add People and other tags. Filtering by any combination of date range, person tag, location, moment type and other tag can help you quickly find the files you are looking for.

You can also create new collections using filtering and bulk edit. For example, say you have tagged a bunch of moments with an ancestor’s name and want to create a collection just for them, just filter your moments by person tag and then use bulk edit to add those moments to a new collection. Voila!

 

4) Collaborate with family members

Family historians often gather information from family members far and wide and solicit their help in identifying people in photos and detailing the stories and context behind other artifacts.  Arkiver was specifically built for this type of collaborative content curation.

Email is a great tool, but when it comes to exchanging files and comments back-and-forth it is cumbersome. Files shared by email are often difficult to relocate and have to be downloaded to be organized. Cloud storage is better and supports some sharing, but is not great for organization or enjoyment as everything is folder based.

In contrast, Arkiver’s Groups feature is perfect for gathering and sharing family history. Say you are collecting history about your grandfather. You can create a “Grandpa” Group in Arkiver and collections within it such as: Growing Up, Education, Family Life, Career etc. Upload the moments you’ve collected and then invite family members to contribute.  They can add their own photos, documents and stories about Grandpa and also help curate and comment on the moments you added. Together your family can use Arkiver to create a rich history that can be saved and shared for generations.

 

5)  Tools to help you remember family stories

Places and dates are great, but family history is all about the stories. But where do you start? Arkiver has developed a tool called Storyteller that enables you to create a custom list of story prompts to help you break through writer’s block. Pick from over 300 story topics or create your own story topics that will remind you of stories to tell later.

You can write your stories in Arkiver using Notes (they will be saved as PDFs on your cloud storage) or you can do an audio or video recording using the Arkiver web app. Storyteller is also a great way to create a list of questions for older relatives you would like to interview.  

There is nothing more valuable than passing on the stories of a family’s ups and downs, trials and tribulations, successes and failures to future generations. Remember to try and keep the stories short and snappy to engage the younger members of your family!

 

6) Wide selection of printing services

Preserving your family history is no fun unless you can enjoy it. Printing not only helps you better enjoy family memories but also helps you preserve and share them through the years.

If you grew up in the pre-digital age, you may remember delicately holding photos by their edges, trying not to get thumbprints on them which can degrade them. Although digitizing old photos and videos means you can now view such keepsakes over and over without damaging them, sometimes there’s just no substitute for holding a memory in your hands. That’s why Arkiver’s Print Center offers a wide variety of options including printed pictures, photobooks, canvas prints and more. 

 

There you have it. Six reasons why Arkiver is great for family historians. So no matter if you’re a beginner or advanced family historian, give the Arkiver web app, Android app and/or iOS app a try and see how it can help you collect, preserve, share and enjoy your own family’s precious stories.

 

Happy Arkiving!

Logan Metcalfe
Logan is the founder and CEO of Arkiver, a company dedicated to saving life stories. He lives in Greenville, SC with his wondeful wife and two children who inspired him to create Arkiver to preserve their family photos, videos and other memories and share them privately with his family back in New Zealand.