Monday, February 27, 2012

Scanning Up a Storm

original photo
This year I made it my goal to try to get better organized and to digitize my photos. This past weekend I made inroads toward that goal by scanning up a storm.

My father recently gave me a photo album from my great grandparents with photos taken between 1901 and 1912.  These photos are wonderful because they show the family at play on vacation when they are their most relaxed. Prior to this I had seen mostly formal shots that gave me no indication of their personalities or their interactions with each other.

I got out my Flip Pal and tore through 160 photos. That's quite a lot of photos to scan! The original photos weren't in great condition so now I am in the process of correcting/improving them in Adobe Photoshop. After I complete that task I will share the digital copies of the photos - both the original and corrected versions - with all my family.  The important thing is not that they do anything with the photos but that multiple copies are preserved in several different locations.  The other key thing is to make sure all descendants who want them have copies of the photos.

Corrected version
I still need to do work on acting as the family archivist. I need to catalog the photos/album, note the provenance (the chain of ownership) of the photo album and identify where the original physical copy will be kept. That's next on my list!

But I feel good. I feel like I got something accomplished and I'm glad that the line of communication is open with my other family members so that they can get excited too.

This album is just one pebble in a riverbed of scanning and cataloging that I need to do. Small steps. Each small step will get me closer to my goal.





Photo notes: These photos show Sarah Estella Gurney Edwards (1871-1963) helping her young son, William Henry Edwards (1898-1976) up the front porch steps during a family vacation in 1901. The location is unidentified but is likely the south coast of Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

12 comments:

  1. Yeah! Flip out is just amazing for projects like these.

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  2. Great idea to save both the untouched as well as the "corrected" version.

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  3. Lovely photo, Marian. I've got the Flip-Pal scanner on my Wish list for my kids... and my birthday/Mother's Day are only a few days apart! Lately I've been scanning my old photos in small batches, copying them, then working with the copies to brighten/darken, label, date, etc. Thank heavens I'm retired!

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  4. Well done, Marian! I have just bought a Flip-Pal scanner, and the task ahead of me now seems exciting rather than daunting because the scanner is so quick and easy to use. First, though, I need to decide upon (and write down) my 'style guide' for naming and filing images. My system will be very similar to the one outlined by Nancy Loe in her e-book Sassy Jane's Guide to Organizing Your Genealogical Research Using Archival Principles.

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  5. Great project and post Marian! Glad to hear every one loves the Flip-Pal and that it's quick and easy to use! I think I neeeeeeed one!

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  6. Is Flip-Pal able to save photos as tif's? Tif being the file format of choice for archival work. Or is it compressing the original into a jpg? And what about size? Is it scanning at original size or able to scan larger?

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  7. Clare Turncliff GunningFebruary 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    I am doing likewise. Question for you. What are you doing with the original photo album? I have all my aunts albums as she passed in 2008. I'm scanning the pics along with all the captions she wrote. She also did little drawings. This is all on that black paper they used in the 30s and 40s. They are falling apart and leaving piles all over my floor. So what do I do with these albums when I'm done scanning? I feel bad throwing them out.

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  8. Great job, Marian! Way to inspire us all! :)

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  9. Scanning this album makes me realize that I already have a bunch of albums from my mom's side tucked in a drawer. I need to pull those out and get them scanned too. So much to do!

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  10. Beautiful photo! Yes so much to do and so little time.

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  11. Hi Marian,

    Great work! I know how long it takes to scan and fix one photo, so you must have had a very busy weekend!

    The question that your post raises for me is regarding the cataloguing of your collection. Do you know of a good (cheap) software program that will suit not just photographs and paper based ephemera, but other heirlooms such as plates, embroided tea-towels, old silk blouses - all the special bits and pieces I have that belonged to my mother, grandmother and great grandmother

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  12. Nice work, Marian! I received a Flip-Pal for Christmas but haven't done much with it yet because it's hard to know where to start. I need to just sit down and do one album like you did. And your corrected image looks fantastic. Thanks for the inspiration!

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