2 Tintypes Other Small Photos
Why these 8 Steps for Family Archiving are Important!
The answers to the questions posed in the photo above are in fact some of themost important things you can do when it comes to family history . . .. . . scanning photographs, old & new / archivally storing the originals / andthen backing everything up!There are many easy-to-use scanners available these days (please see the linksat the end of this blog), and scanning can provide you with invaluable ways toknow more about—and preserve—your family photos / albums / 35mm slides / evencherished family recipes.So, here are 8 different ways scanning photographs + archival storage canbenefit your family history (and that of future generations!).* * ** * ** * *
1. Large or Fragile Images
The large 11 x 14″ antique photograph above and below shows “the old familyhomestead” during the 1870s. This one-of-a-kind image was mounted to a sheetof non-acid free board which has now become brittle with age (see the upperright-hand corner, where part of the mount has broken off).By scanning this image ahead of archivally storing it, it is now possible toenlarge sections to help identify specific family members and other suchdetails. You can also print copies of this image for your photo album, or toemail to other family members for their own collections or for help inidentifying who’s who / what’s what / and when’s when.All this made possible by using the scan while the fragile original photographshown above is safely nestled in a resealable Crystal Clear Bag with a sheetof 2-Ply Acid-Free Museum Board placed under it for support, and then placedwith other large family photos in an economical 3″ deep Drop Front Box, all ofwhich will provide a safe, archival environment for decades to come.* * ** * ** * *
2. Tintypes & Other Small Photos
19th century tintypes are traditionally rather dark and small. By scanningthem it is possible to brighten the scans for clarity (see photos above).Scanning photographs also allows you to make various temporary toneadjustments, making otherwise illegible information written on the back mucheasier to read. It also allows you to enlarge them to reveal dramatic detailthat is otherwise lost in small format images like tintypes and snapshots.Scanning will allow you to name and organize your photographs however you’dlike. You can create computer files based on family relations (mom’s family /dad’s family / etc.); by era (19th century / 1950s / etc.); or by type ofphotograph (tintypes / snapshots / 35mm slide images / photo album pages /etc.), an example of which is shown above.As mentioned, after scanning you can archivally store the originals to reducethe amount of handling they endure. Using tintypes as an example, above aresome ways that small photographs and snapshots can be stored for both safelong-term preservation and for easy access (from top left):Placed in individual HD Poly Envelopes, then into appropriately sized MetalEdge BoxesPlaced in Print Pages, backed with Acid-Free Card Stock which you can write onwith archival Pencils or MarkersPlaced in a Crystal Clear Bag, backed with either Acid-Free Card Stock or2-Ply Museum BoardPlaced in a Collector Grade Binder, or other archival three-ring binder or box* * ** * ** * *
5. Photos Buried in Albums
This is one of my all-time favorite family photographs! Yet it has been buriedfor decades between the pages of a photo album. The solution? Scanningphotographs from your albums will allow you to print them out and frame them /share them / add them to your own family photo albums, all while protectingthe original albums (see photos below).Once scanned, your albums will be safest if placed in individual PolyethyleneBags and then in Drop Front Boxes, which come in a host of sizes / colors /depths.* * ** * ** * *
7. It’s NOT Just for Photos!
While we’ve been discussing the value of scanning photographs throughout thisblog, the same procedures can be used for all sorts of family letters /genealogy records / important documents / even cherished family recipes!In the left-hand photo above, this well-used family recipe book is literallyfalling apart. By scanning the important recipes within, they can be printedout (see center photo of a scan, complete with old cooking stains!) / placedin protective Print Pages in a variety of different types of binders (seeright-hand photo) / and then used over and over again by family members whowere emailed copies of their own favorite recipes.* * ** * ** * *
Creating Photo Books
Photo books are simple to create, and their versatility lends them to anendless array of projects. Since they’re based around images, you don’t needmuch accompanying text. All you really need to get started is a set ofpictures—or things you can scan or take pictures of—that go together. Printedin full color on glossy paper, these relatively inexpensive books makewonderful keepsakes and gifts.Photo books are ideal for a single subject or focus: one person or couple, oneplace, one event or one collection (such as Great-grandma’s recipes). Thinkabout the photos you’d like to share and preserve, and how they might bepresented together in a book. Or if you have a story you’d like to tell, lookfor images to illustrate it. Consider your audience. Who might read the book?What are they likely to find interesting and engaging? Some of ideas you mightconsider for a family history photo book include: * Biographical sketch: photos of an ancestor and his family, the place(s) they lived, and historical records, along with biographical details and anecdotes * Memoir: photos of a parent, grandparent or other relative, with text drawn from personal memories or interviews * Historical family album: old photos and ephemera (paper products such as tickets and funeral cards), with identifying captions * “Our family:” photos and brief descriptions of living family members, perhaps back through grandparents or great-grandparents, ideal for giving to a child * Family reunion: photos from one or more family gatherings, with identifying captions * Ancestral hometown: photos from a place where ancestors lived, perhaps enhanced with maps and antique postcards * Home history: photos of a family home or cottage enjoyed by multiple generations over the years, with notes or quotations about what it means to people * Scrapbook or album reproduction: digital scans of the pages of an old scrapbook or photo album, with an introduction about the book and descriptive notes or captions * Recipe collection: digital scans of handwritten family recipes, perhaps with photos of favorite foods and a family chef’s utensils or dishes * Heirloom collection: digital images of family heirlooms and keepsakes, with descriptions of their origins and how they’ve been passed down.Sunny Morton’s “Ultimate Photo Book” focuses on one specific ancestor.Once you have a book idea in mind, gather the materials to be included. Scanold pictures, scrapbook pages, recipe cards and other items. As you scan, giveimages descriptive names and group them together in a folder on your computerdesktop. This way, you can easily find them later.Next, write an introduction, description, short story or other text for yourbook in a word processing program. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect—you’ll haveplenty of opportunities to refine it. Writing helps you focus your thoughts,gives you ideas about how to present the material and prepares you to copy andpaste into your book template.
Photo Book Makers
You can choose from several online photo book publishing websites. They allessentially work the same way, but each has its own ready-made themes ortemplates, page designs, and embellishments. Printing costs depend on the sizeof the book, number of pages and cover type. I generally recommend choosing aneasy-to-handle (and fit on a bookshelf) size such as 8×11, 11×8 or 10×10inches. Some of my favorite photo book websites are: * Blurb: Build your book using one of the ready-made layouts or download the free design software to create your own. * Mixbook: Among the 84 family-oriented design themes are memoir, cookbook, reunion and family history. * MyCanvas: Design options include reunion scrapbook, vintage album and recipe book designs. This site can import images from your Ancestry.com family tree. See a tutorial here. * Shutterfly: You’ll see dozens of customizable themes, such as family memories, reunion, a life’s story, family ancestry and recipes. * Snapfish: Again, you can choose from a variety of sizes and family-based themes. After you’ve gathered your photos and selected a web publisher, creating a photo book is fairly simple and straightforward. Most sites have tutorials and offer sample layouts to give you ideas.Typically, you’ll follow this procedure: * Upload your images to the website. * Select a design theme or template. * Place your photos in the template, resizing and rearranging as desired. * Adjust backgrounds and layouts, if desired. * Add text by typing or pasting it into the spaces provided. * Proofread, edit, and preview. * Place your order. Within a few weeks, you should receive a beautiful, full-color book in the mail. By that time, you may already have an idea in mind for your next project. And now that you’re familiar with the website and how it works, the book will be even easier to create.
Writing a Narrative Book
Perhaps you’re short on photos, but have a lot of information to share about afamily or individual. You may have already written a story. In that case, amore traditional, text-based book might suit your needs better. Narrativebooks allow you to tell more complex or in-depth stories. They can include afew illustrations, but the emphasis is on the writing rather than the images.Narrative books are usually printed in a standard book size, such as 6×9, 8×10or 8.5×11 inches. Depending how much you want to spend, you can publish inblack and white or full color on a variety of paper types. You’ll design yourown cover and select paperback or hardback. Some narrative books you might puttogether include:Ancestor biography: Portray an ancestor’s life set within the historicalcontext of the time and place in which he or she lived.Numbered genealogy: This is a traditional family history identifying all theknown descendants of an ancestral couple. To help readers cross-reference withpedigree charts and keep track of who belongs in which branch, it uses anumbering system such as Ahnentafel or Register. See FamilySearch.org forinformation.Family origins: Select a family central to your research and tell the story oftheir life, migration and origins.Annotated journal, diary or letters: Share transcriptions of an ancestor’swritings, enhanced with notes on family background and historical events.Creative nonfiction: This type of narrative provides a historically accurateaccount of an ancestor or family using literary elements such as plot,characterization and theme to tell a meaningful, engaging story.The young lady this photo book memorializes was an avid photographer. Here’san example of how the interior pages are designed in this photo-heavy book.Whatever kind of narrative you have in mind, it’s best to write and edit yourmanuscript in a word processing program before you begin the book-makingprocess. All the services listed below let you upload a finished document orPDF file. Most offer samples of books you can browse, and some have videotutorials:Blurb: You have several print options, and converting to an ebook isavailable. Use free desktop software called Bookwright to design and customizelayouts. You can sell books through Blurb or other distributors.Bookemon: Choose from a few different book types and use the Quick & Easydocument uploader or All-in-One Book Builder software. Books sell throughBookemon.Lulu: Choose among multiple sizes, papers and bindings. The Lulu Cover Wizardwill help you design your cover. You may sell through the site and otherdistributors, and ebook conversion is available.Stories to Tell: This company isn’t a DIY online publisher in the sense of theabove services. Instead, it offers assistance with editing, design andpublishing decisions, especially for biographies, memoirs and familyhistories.Once all the writing, formatting and design elements are done, you’ll no doubtbe eager to see your finished book in print. In addition to ordering copies asgifts, consider purchasing extras to donate to genealogy libraries,repositories where you’ve researched, and libraries in your ancestors’hometown. The more widely your work is distributed, the more likely it is toreach relatives who want it, now or in the future.https://www.familytreemagazine.com/projects/creating-photo-family-book-choosing-images/
Making a Family History Book
If the process of writing and creating a narrative book seems a bit daunting,but you envision more than a photo book, a third option hits a sweet spotbetween the two.MyCanvas offers family history book templates that integrate genealogicalrecords, family group pages, timelines and pedigree charts with text andimages. The publisher, Alexander’s, partners with subscription genealogy siteAncestry.com. If you have an Ancestry Member Tree, MyCanvas will import theinformation, document images and source citations from your tree directly intoyour project. This saves time you might otherwise spend entering andformatting data. (You don’t have to have an Ancestry account to use MyCanvas,though.) MyCanvas is web-based, so you don’t need to download software.You can choose from four types of family history books: * Standard book: This book traces the ancestry of a person, working back through time. It’s ideal for showing the origins of a family or for birthday, graduation, new baby or holiday gifts. * Combination book: This option illustrates the ancestors and descendants of one couple, great for anniversaries, holiday and family reunions. * Descendant tree book: Working forward through time, this book documents descendants of an ancestral couple. This is great for family reunions. * Descendant list book: This book is similar to the above descendant tree book, but it emphasizes text over photos. Consider it for large reunions or donating to libraries.You can choose from several cover types (which you can change later in theprocess). Once you’ve made a selection, MyCanvas gives you the option toeither connect with your Ancestry user name, or to build a book with blanktemplates. MyCanvas generates pedigree charts, family group pages, ancestortimelines and record pages from your Ancestry family tree. You also can addtext and pictures, add themed or blank pages anywhere in the book, andrearrange pages. Most of the MyCanvas tools are fairly intuitive, but beforeyou begin, you may want to watch the site tutorials under the Support tab. Youalso can watch the free video course “MyCanvas: Creating Family HistoryKeepsakes”.One final tip applies to any type of project you create: These days, it’stempting not to print things when it’s so easy and inexpensive to sharedigitally. But it’s still important to print copies of your family historybook for the sake of longevity. Print withstands the test of time. Yourprinted book never become inaccessible due to changing software, websites,digital media or operating systems—or because no one remembers what websitehas your saved project.A family history book is the perfect way to share and preserve your photos andresearch. With all the options online publishers now provide, you can createalmost any kind of book. Experiment with these ideas and create a customproject as special as the family history that inspired it.Last updated: December 2019Pin this article for later!
Get the whole family excited about ancestry with our Best Family History
Projects eBook!These family history projects will help you use your research in new andexciting ways, with tips and strategies for publishing your genealogy in areport or blog, printing decorative family trees, saving your research in thecloud and more. BUY NOW6 Computer Basics Every Senior Should KnowToday’s senior citizens have adapted to an incredible number of technologicaladvances during their lifetimes — and computers are no exception. Withoutcomputer knowledge, seniors lose access to news sites, social media, andcommunity portals that keep them connected to their world. Completing avariety of basic everyday tasks ranging from downloading product manuals tomaking appointments at the doctor, DMV, and more can also be impossiblewithout some computer know-how.To help, we have listed six computer skills every senior citizen should have.
3. Creating, Saving, and Printing Documents
Once you’ve mastered Word, Excel, and other software programs, you’ll likelywant to create and save documents.On most computers and in most software programs, a file can be created bychoosing “File” in the menu and then selecting “Create New” or a similarcommand. Most files can be saved by choosing “File” in the menu and thenselecting “Save” or “Save As.”If you have a printer, you should also be able to print documents. Doing soallows you to send letters and to print hard copies of online receipts forthings such as car insurance and registration payments. On most computers, youcan print a document or page by choosing “File” in the menu and then “Print.”From there, a pop-up window will lead you through prompts to print yourdocument.
5. Sharing Photos
Exchanging photos with your family is one of the most meaningful things youcan use your computer to do. If you have a digital camera or a smartphone witha camera, you can put your photos on your computer to share with yourcontacts. There are tutorials on sharing photos privately to teach you how toshare photos with friends and family without compromising your privacy.Using a photo storage and sharing service is a great way to make larger albumsavailable for family members. There are several reputable online photo storageservices. One of the easiest to use is Flickr. Be sure to ask your friends andfamily members which photo services they use. Using the same service as yourother family members can make sharing your photos a lot easier.