old guy


Using FamilySearch Memories more efficiently

Most users of FamilySearch are aware of the FamilySearch Memories option which allows for uploading of photos, documents, scans, stories, audio files and other items.
But so many users are often using these options and processes in a very inefficient way/method.  For example many people dont realize they can actually upload numerous photos in a single upload batch - rather than just uploading them one by one.   There are numerous Memories processes that can be applied to more than one item at a time.  For anyone working with hundreds or even thousands of items - its critical to understand these ways to use the tools more efficiently.


Uploading a Family Search Memory item to a specific person.  
For many years now FamilySearch has allowed users to upload things like  photos, pdf documents, document scans, text files and even audio files and hook them (tag them) to specific people in the Family Tree database.  Many people will do this from the profile record of the deceased person and then clicking on the Memories tab and then clicking on an upload Icon on the appropriate upload type and then selecting the desired file from their local storage device / computer. Many users will process one item at a time - but you can actually select more than one item at a time - though  more than like 3-4 items will usually cause some sort of error - often with no explanation as to the cause of the error.  Most people who are working with a large number of upload items will find it much more efficient to upload first to a Memories "Album"  (Folder) first rather than uploading directly to the person record.  This is because the upload through-put speed on an album is MUCH greater than the speed doing the same thing on a person record.  

Uploading to Albums/Folders
As stated many people will initially learn how to upload items - by uploading a photo or document directly via the profile page and memory tab of a given person record in Family Tree.  This may be the more natural and intuitive way to go about it.
BUT it is not the most efficient. You can upload at much greater speeds and with many more items using an album than you can by just uploading directly to the person record.
To create a new album in your general memories gallery - first click on "Memories",  "Gallery" and then click on "New Album" on the left hand side. You can do this to create numerous albums or folders to use as ways to group and categorize your items.  Note that a single item can actually be part of multiple albums - even though the document is only stored once in FamilySearch Memories.  So for example you could, in theory, create albums for each of the surnames you are researching and place items in each album. BUT you could also do groupings/albums for specific item types - such as Family Bibles, Probate Records, Census Records, Newspaper Articles and add items already stored in a surname folder also in a Family Bible folder.   The rhyme or reason as to how you create and name  different albums and which items you include in which album(s) is totally up to you.    Items uploaded to a Memories Album will not initially be linked/tagged to a given person in Family Tree - but you can tag them - and you can do this in large batches as needed.  Warning: You should not load more than 1,000 items to a specific folder.  The system will allow you to go beyond the 1,000 item max - and will even show you the correct file count. BUT the system is currently set to only DISPLAY 1,000 items and wont give you any indication that there are records it didnt display  - same applies to doing a search - which will not find items beyond the 1,000 range.  
To see how to in turn link a large set of item in a specific folder (that are currently unlinked) to a specific person record in Family Tree - see the item below labeled "Hooking Multiple Memories items to a single person"

Multi item Select
In most cases uploads to FamilySearch will let you select more than one item to upload in a single batch.  The mult-file select option is the same as with any other process - under the Windows operating system you can hold down the shift key with the left hand and click the first and last items in a contiguous file list - to select all the items between the first and last. If you want to select multiple files that are not in a contiguous list you can use the CTRL key instead of the Shift Key.
There really is no explicit maximum file count that you can select in a single selection - however it is usually best to keep it under 100 items and less than 50 if they are very large files. Selecting more than that can often cause time outs and errors. All the items of a batch select - should be of the same item type  (photo, pdf, etc,)   Even after your items have been uploaded into the gallery and to albums -  you can still use the SHIFT or CTRL key inside FamilySearch to allow for a multi-select and then to apply an action to the group selected.  However you may find that any muti-select operations with more than like 100 items in a single batch may sometimes fail.

Merging Albums - There is no explicit/direct "album merge" option.  But you can easily perform a merge - simply by selecting the items in one folder - and using the "add album" option to include them (also) in another album.  Realize that any item can be included in as many albums as needed - and still really only be stored once in memory.  Be aware as previously discussed, though, that normally you can only multi-select and process about 100 or so items at a time. Doing more may end up in the operation stalling and getting stuck in the "looping status" mode.
 
Hooking Multiple Memories items to a single person.
You will not find this capability (of attaching multiple items to a single family tree person record in a single batch) when you are looking at the gallery or album. HOWEVER - you can still simply accomplish this task - by FIRST going to the person record in Family Tree - and then clicking on "Memories" and then choosing "Select from Gallery" - then choosing the desired items from the gallery - or often even better - from a specific album/folder - using the multi-item select as needed. You can use this method to link a very large number of items to a specific person.  You will eventually bump up to  a limit of 1,000 items that can/should be tagged to a specific person record - but 1,000 items should be more than plenty.

Adding Multiple Items to a specific Folder.
If you have already populated your general gallery (set of item uploads) before you started creating and using "albums" - you  can move items, in large batches, from your general gallery into newly created albums - by selecting a group of items (using a group select) and then click on "Action" - and click on "Add to Album".  (You should probably restrict such operations no more than like 100 items to ensure it works as expected.  All the items selected will be added to the designated album (assuming you have already created the new albums ahead of time).  BUT you will still find the items in the general gallery view as well.   You can also go to a specific album - and select a group of items within the album and go through the same process - of "Add to Album" to also add those items into a different album as well (leaving them in the source album). There is also an option to remove an item from a given album (which does not delete the item- simply removing it from its part of a given album).

Mark Public or Private
From your gallery or album view - you can also select given items that you want to mark as private (instead of the default public status).  Marking an item as "private" seems like a good option for photos of living persons. But one should use caution in using the private status.  If anything were to happen to you - no one would ever be able to restore these files back into public status to allow them to be accessed.  Rather I suggest items for living persons be left public - but with no title or description used on them - so that if anyone does a SEARCH they will not come up in a search result.  If an item is so private you dont want anyone else seeing it - it begs the question - should it even be uploaded in the fitst place.  Whether you mark items as private or not - is totally up to you - just be aware of  what could happen - if you passed on - and no one else had access to the account.

Delete Items
If you look into the possible actions that can be applied to a single item in FS Memories - you can indeed delete a single item.   BUT deleting multiple items in a single batch is not so obvious and even a little frustrating - but probably intentional to avoid people deleting things by accident and then wishing they hadn't.  To delete group items - you must select them from the general gallery view - and not the album view.   If you need to use the album view to facilitate finding them - then you must choose the option "Remove from Album", and then afterwards refresh your view and go to the general gallery where you will find them (note you can use the filter option to filter on items "not in an album" - and then you can group select and delete.
Note that you can indeed delete an album - but deleting an album - does NOT deleting the items that were in the album at the point of deletion.  Such items will continue to exist - via the main gallery view.

Duplicate Items
FamilySearch tries its best to help you avoid wasting valuable storage space - as an example if you attempt to upload an item more than once - the system will generate an error - indicating that this upload would generate a duplicate entry.  Any one item can exist ONLY once across the entire gallery of items for a given user.  Thus if a person wanted to attach a single photo to more than one person - they would NOT upload the item multiple times to each profile - rather they would choose the "select from gallery" option on each profile that they were attaching to - to attach the photo that has already been uploaded.
When you do get a "duplicate" error message - it might be a surprise to you becaue you dont see the item linked to a speciifc person - so you assume it hasntg been already loaded. But if you get a duplicate message it is an indication that the item is already part of your gallery - even if you dont see it on a specific FamilyTree profile.   When this happens it might be that you have a difficult time locating the pre-existing duplicate. One of the best ways to find duplicates is to go to your general gallery view - and do a search with the search value being the file name of the item. Searches against one's own gallery will work with the file name - and can be quite useful in locating a given item using file name.  Note, however, you can not do a file name search when searching the entire set of Memories items (across many users) 

"Try again Later"
If you ever get an error message when processing FamilySearch Memories - that includes the phrase "try again later" - 99.9% of the time - trying again later - will simply result in the same exact error and failure again.  Obviously when you get the error you know something is wrong - but waiting time - usually doesnt correct whatever is wrong.  One example of this is that sometimes instead of telling you an item is a duplicate - it merely gives you a generic error and tells you to try again later.  If an item is a duplicate - it will give you an error every time you try to load - no matter how much time you wait to go by.  After a couple attempts at any given process that generates a "try again later" message - consider waiting an hour for one more attempt - and if you still get the error - then you should assume  you will always get the error.  If you have no clue what may be generating the error - then consider submitting a post to the Memories section of Community for help from FS personnel.   Note that the "try again later" error message is simply a "catch all" error message - when the system for whatever reason can't (or hasn't been coded to)  explicitly determine what the error is. Continuing to submit the process time and time again - will simply result in the same error message again and again. Seek help - instead of banging your head against the wall.  

Your Gallery View - Note that all of your memories items should always be available for view at any time using your gallery view (avoiding  looking at specific albums).   For example you should always be able to find any item by looking at the general gallery and either just a visual check - or by doing a SEARCH/FILTER.   However, once you have more than like 10,000 items in your entire gallery - you may actually have to wait a minute or so for your gallerry view to display and for your gallery item counter to populate.  


Some examples of various FamilySearch Albums:

Dedicated to a Specific Surname:  https://www.familysearch.org/photos/gallery/album/644885

Dedicated to a specific Person: or Family:  https://www.familysearch.org/photos/gallery/album/510196

Dedicated to Family Bibles:  https://www.familysearch.org/photos/gallery/album/508280

Dedicated to a specific research trip:  https://www.familysearch.org/photos/gallery/album/78812


And DONT Forget this page that can be used to FIND Memories items from among the MILLIONS that have been uploaded
https://www.familysearch.org/photos/find  
(be sure and use the "+" (plus) term in front of each term)
like this  [click here]