Build a Document Library at Scribd

I haven’t talked much about Scribd lately, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy improving the platform. It is now the world’s largest online library. If you haven’t been to the site recently, there’s been an impressive design update. The home page is much more inviting and it’s easier to get right to your own documents.

Scribd home page

Scribd home page.

The Scribd Store has been reinstated with some significant improvements – including PayPal as a payment option – making it a very flexible publishing option for family history projects of all kinds. By flexible, I mean a lot more than making money. While most of today’s digital publishing options have strict limits on how your publication is formatted, with Scribd you can be as creative as you wish. Most of the documents I’ve published here are very graphical and many are built using Keynote, my presentation graphics software. Not only can people come here and read/download my publications, I can embed them on my blog too.

A publication page at Scribd

Here you see a publication page on Scribd. Not only can you scroll through the document online, you’ll find details about the document in the sidebar along with a button to download or print the document. The author chooses which distribution options are available during the upload process. This view shows what the document owner will see on this page and includes options for editing the document and its detail information. It also provides statistical information on reads and embeds.

Scribd profile page

Scribd is quite social. You can follow and be followed by other users, comment on documents and share them with others via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. And, if you’re looking for something to read, both the site and individual documents are searchable. Publishing houses use Scribd to publish preview documents to show off their latest books. Often these are good ways to learn more about a book before you buy it. Some, like the one embedded below, can even be purchased as a Scribd download.

Scribd is a great place to build a personal archive of documents related to your family history. Not only does it provide useful organizational and display options, you’re also protecting yourself from disaster by maintaining an off-site library. You choose which to display publicly and which to keep as private documents, and you also have the ability to generate some revenue to help support your genealogy habit. Take a look and see for yourself how useful Scribd can be.