Friday 22 September 2017

From digital movies to putting history online

TIMEKEEPER: Producer Gerry McColgan, whose new firm is GeneFile.
TIMEKEEPER: Producer Gerry McColgan, whose new firm is GeneFile.
Louise McBride

Louise McBride

THE film producer, Gerry McColgan, remembers his mother using a box brownie camera to record special occasions when he was growing up in Wexford. The reverence held by his mother for this camera, and the irreplaceable moments it captured, instilled in Gerry an interest in moments of time.

About a year ago, McColgan managed to bring this passion into his day job by setting up GeneFile, a company which allows families to digitise family photos, videos and documents. The company uses cloud technology to archive these memories and documents online – so they can be handed on to future generations.

"I've always had an interest in historical events, people and stories," said McColgan.

Many people share this interest – and the recession has prompted others to delve into their past, according to McColgan.

"We're less flippant and we do have a greater consciousness about who we are and where we come from – especially when so many people have had to emigrate," he said. "It's never been easier to look into your history."

GeneFile also provides a service where people can trace their family roots. "It's mainly the diaspora who are interested in this," said McColgan. "Young people who have had their first child also like to find out more about their family."

Businesses and government can also use GeneFile to store important documents.

"For businesses, it means they can save valuable space, and ensures that documents are not vulnerable to loss or fire – and can be easily accessed," McColgan added.

GeneFile is now trying to raise money from philanthropists to digitise valuable state archives because there is currently a shortage of finance to do so.

Sunday Independent

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