Best Place for long documents

I am interested in how people manage long documents. I have a few text based historical documents which provide insight into the people I am researching. I am trying to decide if a note, or an attached media document would be the better place to put it.

I am not sure what the realistic limitations of the note field are, or what the best practices used for things like this are.


There was a recent thread on the email list regarding this issue.

Depending on the length and probably more so if I would have to transcribe the information into a note, I would store it as a PDF. Then the question becomes do you attach the pdf’s media record in a person’s Gallery tab or attach the media record to a source/citation. I would go with the s/c thus allowing page numbers for the parts of the history that may be more relevant to the person in the citation. I would add the s/c to the Person’s overall Source Citation tab.

Others of course may have other ideas.

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I prefer to keep notes relatively short. Most of the genealogical software I have used will handle longer notes, but it gets difficult to see and edit them if they are much more than a page or so of text.

And most of my longer documents, may also include formatting or images that cannot be put into a simple note.

I also seem to recall a ancient limitation of 32k for GEDCOM records, like notes. It is possible that some software still has this limit, although Gramps does not.

For these reasons, I usually save longer documents as pdf files and include them as media.

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I saw the conversation on the list, however that was mostly to do with maximum length in the database. I asked a similar question there and didn’t see any replies. I was also more interested in what people did for practice, not just the technical limitations.

Thank you for the ideas, I will look into what works the best. I haven’t looked into the different places it could be attached. I like the idea of the s/c. I haven’t looked into how it gets included into different reports yet.


I use that kind of documents as sources, so I add them as media to a source (named as the document or something like), then I Create Citations with references to the pages thats describe the Person, Event or Place, and if there are something special in the text, I also quote it “blablabla”…

Then I add the citation to the Person, Event or Place where it belong… I create one Citation for each “different” part of the document that I use.

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