August Update

Joh. C. CoomansAfter some distractions in the first half of the year and a terrific holiday in Europe, I’m back working on the picstory.net website. As I’ve given myself 10 years to build it, what’s six months off occasionally?

There are now pages for around two hundred family members (most of them pretty basic) and over 250 photos and other items of interest.

Some of the recent enhancements:

  • A new category – “Other Items” for things I couldn’t fit in elsewhere, like newspaper clippings and memorial booklets.
  • An illustration for the front page – yes, it’s Dad/Jo Coomans, the inspiration for this site ( “what to do what all that stuff he left behind?”). He’ll also show up as the icon for the site.
  • My first translated letters. I can’t see how I can translate more than a few representative ones, but I’ll try.

I’d love some feedback/critique of the site. Here are a few things which I don’t like and will look towards changing:

  • While the miniature photos on a personal page are Ok, even if a bit small, documents end up looking all the same. I think I will end up adding titles below the document miniatures.
  • For some people, the sheer number of items will end up ovewhelming (ie when I upload hundreds of Dad’s artworks). Not sure how to solve it yet, I might have to group the items.
  • Similarly, for some events there are lots of photos, threatening to ‘flood’ pages, for example I uploaded our wedding album. What I ended up doing is only link selective photos to Joy’s and my personal pages. You would need to go to the year (1971) to see the other photos.

Lots more things to consider, but that’s enough for now. I look forward to feedback / suggestions / critiques. Fire away in the comments or email me at mh@coomans.com

A family history project

RommelKamer
Tiny part of the room…

When Dad vacated the family home in mid 2014, we found a rich treasure of artwork, letters, documents, photographs and other “artifacts of life” in his “Rommelkamer”[junk room]. Not to mention the skull in the bedroom cupboard…

I ended up with a lot of the “treasure”, photographing his paintings and drawings and doing my best to preserve anything valuable or of historical interest.

That still left the question of what to do with it all? Was there a way of preserving it as a digital collection and exposing  it to others?

fpIt might also be interesting to document some of the history of our family in moving from one continent and society to another. Underlying the contents of Dad’s room was a story which would be interesting to develop…

So I’ve been experimenting (fiddling) with a way to tell the story for the past few months. In a subsequent post, there will be an opportunity to document some of the design decisions which were made along the way. For the moment, you can have a look at its beginnings at  http://picstory.net

And feel free to comment, criticise and/or question the project.

15-Jo-Adri
Jo Coomans and Adrie Kooij

You might ask, for example, why there are so few of the family’s ‘assets’ on that site just yet. That’s because it seemed logical to start with “a framework” formed by the family tree before adding the ‘assets’. There are some examples already how that might work, though.

I have given myself ten years to get this into a reasonable shape, so use your imagination when browsing and feel free to assist! Oh, and before I close this off, I’m focused mainly on people and events in the already distant past but will respect any feedback and /or requests for privacy.

Meanwhile, follow along!