April 2, 2015

Goal 2 – Preserve the Heirlooms

Posted in Goals at 8:55 pm by hoosierroots

Goal 2:  Collect and preserve the family heirlooms for the generations to come.

This too is virtually a repeat of what I wrote in 2013.

As the acknowledged family historian on both sides of my family, I have been fortunate to receive a closet full of old family photos. These photos stretch back to the late 1800′s with significant collections for every decade since. Some are labeled, some are not. While I will likely never identify every photo, I know more about many of the pictures than will my children or their children. In addition to photographs I have a smattering of old letters and documents, including my great-great-grandfather’s Civil War discharge papers. There are also a few audio tapes, movie reels, and even the now almost-antique VHS tapes.

If these items are to survive to continue to tell the story of our past they need to be labeled, digitized, preserved, and distributed. It makes me shudder to think what a loss it would be if our house were to burn – which is where the strategy of digitizing with an off-site backup and then distributing the originals among my cousins is imperative.

I have scanned many photos, but I have many, many, many more to go. In order to keep my load reasonable, I am going with a fairly simple – and single objective here. For now.(There is MUCH, MUCH more I need to tackle. I will be delighted to use the archival and organizational tips I have read in a couple great books – more on this in another post.)

Objective 2a: Scan “modern” photos that my mother took. I have several boxes of photos I gathered from my father’s house when he recently moved. These photos are primarily from 1980-2004. (My father went digital in late 2004.) While I have a high quality flatbed scanner, scanning is relatively slow as the lid has to be raised between scans. I have recently purchased an inexpensive photo scanner that allows photos to be fed through the slot. No doubt, the quality is not quite as good, but the speed makes up for it. I was able to scan the first box (maybe 2000 photos?) in a couple weeks while watching television. Eventually I want to organize all the photos, label them, and so forth – but for now I will concentrate on scanning.

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