One of the many great things about using a Mac is how many functions that just seem like they should be included in the operating system actually are! One of these is the ability to create (or “burn”) CDs and DVDs. This feature is great for anyone creating and or storing a lot of data as we do in genealogy.
Since our family history data changes frequently, it is important to make regular backups. The setup method I present here need only be done once, then you’ve got a “click to burn” solution that will produce a backup without any fuss.
There are a couple mechanisms for burning CDs and DVDs within Mac OS X: “burn folders” and the “disk utility.” In this video, Backup Your Mac Genealogy Files to CD or DVD, I show you step-by-step how to create and use the burn folder feature to create a backup system for your genealogy files. I also show you how to determine what types of CDs and DVDs your Mac can write to.
Follow along with the screencast to set up a genealogy burn folder for yourself. Make a backup to see just how easy it is. Then consider making a second backup and mailing it to a geographically distant relative or genealogy buddy so that you have an off-site backup.
The disc that is created is what they call a hybrid format, so it can be read on a Windows PC should that need arise. I should warn you though, if you use the MacGenealogist.com recommended folder structure with its aliases (see the Genealogy Toolbox page for the series), Windows doesn’t support this feature. All the files will be in the original places, but aliases to files and folders will look like empty files to our PCGenealogist brethren.