This summer I have a goal. I want to organize my photos. Somehow, probably because I truly do care, I have become the caretaker of many family pictures from both sides of my family. Therefore, I have hundreds of photos of ancestors, none of which were ever organized in albums. I think what happened was that people sent copies of pictures they had to share with other family members and so what has filtered down to me are the 'extras' nobody needed. Also, it's possible that many of the pictures came from collections people found when a family member died. I have already done much of the organizing of 'family group', 'individual', and 'decade'. Attempts have been made to identify the people in the photos. Unidentifiable photos have already been tossed.
I am also facing the task of archiving the photos from my own family. Because we have a huge number of photos of our work in Indonesia besides the usual family adventures and school pictures, there is an additional level to dealing with them. What is historically significant and should be saved for the Moskona people?
Where is the cross over line between private and ministry photos?
1. Scan all photos except the obvious blurry and truly bad ones. Put all scanned photos into albums. I call this method the 'archiving the memories' method. Until now, I have been storing photos in photo boxes and photo albums of varying archival quality. Since there are many larger photos from 5"x7" to 8"x10", and even bigger, I had put these in sheet protectors in large three ring binders. Now I am in the scanning stage and simply replacing the scanned photos into the albums and binders.
Do I really need to keep photos of the USO swimming hole in San Marcos, TX or the snow on top of Snowqualmie Pass just because my dad was there?
2. Scan all photos as above. Keep picture copies of the best in an album and store the rest in photo boxes (organized). This is the abbreviated archiving the memories option.
3. Scan only the best photos and keep those in an album. Discard the rest of the pictures.
I would love to hear from people who have worked on photo archive projects. What option did you choose and why? Did you encounter any special problems? What do you wish you had done differently, and what would you do differently now? I want your opinions, please.