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GSBC Extra
“Picturing” Your Research—Finding, Procuring, and Preserving Images (Revised, in two parts)
Presented by Michelle D. Novak

Did you realize that you have a UNIQUE archive in your house right now? Your family photos! Your research can come alive with images but finding, scanning, and preserving them can be a daunting prospect. In this series, we’ll explore using images in your research—from the view of Michelle D. Novak, a brand designer, photographer, and Masters of Information candidate at Rutgers University. (P.S., It’s her favorite topic!)

Part one focuses on how to understand and preserve the images you may have lingering in your photo albums and shoeboxes. We’ll also look at ways to find images in online collections, how photos can bring deeper meaning to your research, introduce some archival supplies to preserve your originals for future generations, and look at how to connect with members of your family through with photos.

Part two of this series (Monday, 8 March @ 2pm) will be all about scanning, retouching, and organizing images. Novak will walk us through how to scan images like a pro, some dos and don’ts of retouching, introduce some basic concepts to organize your images, and peek at some tools that can help you identify the people in them. It’s an exciting, ever-evolving world—and one that can bring your family research to life.

Handout for Part One >

Michelle D. Novak is a brand designer at [MND] ( which serves finserv, education, and technology; genealogist; and teacher. She is a Master of Information student at Rutgers University, holds a BFA from RISD, and certificates from BU, Gen-Fed, and GRIP. Novak is Trustee and Webmaster for the Genealogical Society of Bergen County (GSBC) and a former Trustee of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey. She also serves as Project Administrator for the GSNJ-NJSA New Jersey Early Land Records Project (; Editor of the GSBC’s national award-winning newsletter, “The Archivist;” and is involved with numerous transcription, indexing, publicity, and digitization projects.

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