Several years ago, my mom lost a large box full of photographs to water damage. If I’d known then what I know now, we might have been able to save some of them, but they were damp quite awhile before the damage was discovered.
The lesson that we learned?
Never store photographs in a cardboard box next to a bathroom, where a small, undiscovered water leak may damage or destroy your photographs.
With that knowledge still fresh in mind, plus watching the destruction of homes and loss of family photographs each year from flood, fire, and yes here in Kansas, tornadoes, I’m scanning every photograph that I can, as fast as I can, and adding it to my genealogy programs as if it was maybe the most important thing genealogically speaking that I can do for my family.
And – maybe it is.
Good Advice from the Library of Congress…
I’m also watching for information that can help me do a better job scanning, organizing, preserving, and backing up my rapidly growing digital collection, so what started this whole blog post was following a link to the “Preserving Digital Memories” information at the Library of Congress website.
You can check out the many pages of advice there by clicking on this link: http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/personalarchiving/.
Back up by Sharing…
And because lugging a flat bed scanner to family reunions or your Great Aunt Ethel’s home isn’t always handy, (or even do-able), I recently added a Flip-Pal scanner to my scanning arsenal.
My, how I wish I had had one of these last fall when I scanned photos that were glued down in a cousin’s photograph albums! There were several photos I simply could not scan using a flat bed scanner, but with the Flip-Pal I certainly could have.
And because one of the best ways to back up these digital photograph collections is to share it with other family members, (besides just being a really cool thing to do) I’m doing that, too.