You may or may not know that the National Archives’ Prologue Magazine has a significant presence on Scribd, the document storage and management platform. They use Scribd in some very creative ways – ones that we as family historians can also use. In Prologue’s profile you’ll find reprints of articles from the magazine along with any number of historical documents and photos. One very effective tool in Prologue’s presentation toolkit is the Scribd Collection. You can see how they put this feature to work in their recent celebration of the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that put the first man on the moon. The image you see here is just one of the interesting things you’ll find in the collection.
The collection is one of Scribd’s organizational features. It’s both quite useful and very easy to use. The really nice thing about a collection is that it isn’t confined to just your own documents. You can include public documents from across the Scribd universe.
Creating a collection is easy. Start by clicking the Add to Collections link on the document you want to include in a collection.
The collections pane appears showing any collections you’ve already created along with a field for creating a new collection. Just click in that field and it expands to the pane you see below.
You’ll need to enter a name and choose a collection type from the drop-down box at the bottom of the form, but adding a description of the collection and its purpose is always a good idea. It will give Scribd’s search engine more help in finding your collection. The collection types are explained just below the drop-down box. Once you’re ready, save your new collection.
It will be added to your list of available collections so now all you need to do is check the box to include your document in the collection and you’re all set. One caveat . . . you cannot put private documents into public collections.
In my Scribd library, I’ve used collections to organize both my how-to documents and family ones. For example, my Digital Storytelling collection has the Scribd articles embedded here at the Gazette along with some of my actual storytelling projects.
When you visit user’s profile page on Scribd, you’ll find links to their documents and collections located in the profile’s sidebar. Click the link and the collections will be displayed much like the individual documents you see here. Find the one you want, click on it and it will display your collection page.
Not only do the Prologue folks know history, they have found all kinds of fascinating ways to share what they know. Take advantage of their examples and Scribd’s collections to present your family stories along with related photos, ephemera and digitized documents. You’ll be creating a very rich history in the process.