Weekly Planner: Scan Ten Photographs a Day

Do you still have a boxes or albums full of old photographs that are still not in electronic form? I know I do! These photographs are deteriorating as we procrastinate preserving them in digital form. In addition to creating a back-up copy of the original photograph, scanning photographs makes them easier to share with family, on a CD, on a MyFamily or some other photo sharing site, or even attached to an e-mail to brighten someone’s day. This week, grab a big stack and scan just ten photographs a day (and if you get carried away and do more, I won’t tell!). By the end of one week, you’ll have seventy photographs (or more) backed up in electronic format and in a way that’s easy to share.

6 thoughts on “Weekly Planner: Scan Ten Photographs a Day

  1. I’ve been scanning all of my pictures. A few tips to help those in the future. Make the file name as descriptive as possible, with names and dates. I use Roxio, and it allows me to create white space below the picture to enter names, dates, and places. Then I go into the properties of the picture and within the Comments, I put the same information. Now there are three places with information incase the picture gets renamed and/or cropped. Some programs will allow you to autofix a picture. I did that with one very hazy picture and it came out as if it were brand new. When done, I stored the actual picture in large envelopes.

  2. Digital copies of photographs are wonderful for sharing with other family members and for cleaning up age related damages. BUT they are not permanent so should not be considered as replacements for the originals. Yes, you can get CDs with a lifespan of 50 years or better. But will the computers of the future be able to read them? I already have saved graphics which my current computer turns its nose up at. Repeatedly upgrading CDs can be a time consuming job if future computers require it and future family members realize it is needed.

    High quality laser photocopies on archival paper are worth considering as an alternative. The ones our local copy center makes look like original photographs. You can haave as many copies made as there are people interested in having them. And they will not need upgrading, only preservation.

  3. That’s exactly what I’m in the process of doing! I name each photo with the year, the person’s first name, than a chronological number; for example: 1954Carol001. I have a folder for each family member. I also write a comment under the summary tab of each photo’s File Properties. And, as someone else suggested, be sure to write WHO, WHEN, WHERE on each of the original photographs.

  4. I have scanned every photo I have ever taken. I had so many albums that were old and falling apart and didn’t have room for them all. Half of the pictures weren’t labeled. When my Dad passed in 1990 I began to realize how important the pictures were. On my computer I created a folder for each family, grandchild, sceneries, each holiday etc. and as I scanned the photo’s I put them in the correct folder. I did try to sort the pictures first so I wasN’t constantly going back and forth to different folders. It took me 6 – 8 months to do all of my pictures. It was my winter project. After that I went to each folder and made sub folders for each family and each year. Such as, the smith family, they had 3 children so that is 3 sub folders . Then they each got married and has 3 more children and it goes on and on.. Then I put them all on the gold archival discs. I make 2 copies so if one breaks or just won’t open I always have the spare. These are all stored in a black archival leather CD case. The gold archival CD’s cost a little more but I felt that this was my gift to the future generations. I then went through the physical pictures of my children and gave them a nice assortmant of their childhood pictures , mixing in some of their siblings pictures.
    Then I purchased some archival supplies, envelopes etc and put each family in the envelopes. Once all of this was done I now do this every year and my envelopes are now just dated by years. I know that after 2004 if I am looking for a picture of my Gradaughter for instance, I am going to look in the year not the family folder because 2004 was the last year before I started dating my folders by just years. At the beginning of each year I put all of the pictures for the year before on CD’s and then make my yearly photo book with a photo book program (available all over the internet. I use memory mixer) and have it printed up. It is much thinner then a photo album and is your own creation. Also you are able to label the photo’s. The best is that you can print extra’s up for other family members. We have a family web site and our families are always putting on wonderful photo’s of their families and special events. I save them in my pictures to use in my yearly album.
    I have since taken the older photo’s and made a few family history albums and as you go through each year of my albums you can see how immediate and distant family members have grown and what was going on in their lives. I document baseball games , weddings , births, new businesses, college & high school graduations etc in each yearly book.
    I have even scanned dance recital tickets and front pages of the phamplets, birth & wedding invitations, local Girl Scout News articles . It is all the history of your family and great fun
    One last thing I would like to share with you.. When my oldest grandaughter graduated High School I was able to make a photo book of her life easily because my pictures were all sorted and dated. I just went to Kate’s folder and then through each year and made a book for her from birth to graduation.
    J Abrams
    Long Island, NY

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