Preserve old photo albums

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Do you have an old photo album with older family photos in it? If so, do keep the individual photos in the old photo album. It in itself tells the story about a relative that once took the time to make a memory for later on. Maybe the relative thought directly or indirectly about you when the album was put together?

No matter how many thoughts were laid behind it when made,
the album itself helps enriching the experience of the old photographs.

Long term storage

If you have a photograph that is starting to get brown spots or develop an ugly border then the warning lights should come up. It can be acid in the photo frame or in the cardboard frame around the pictures (the passepartout).

The item that is to be stored long-term must be acid-free, free of staples, paper clips, tape, post-it notes, etc. But by all means, do not dismantle the old family album. If the album has begun to dissolve, you may want to bring it to someone who can fix it. In that way, future generations can also enjoy the album.

Most preferably, the photo album should be placed in a safe to be protected against fire, water damage or theft, but unfortunately then you may not have the chance to enjoy it yourself.

Geneastuff’s tip therefore is to digitize the entire photo album (page-by-page or image-by-image) before storing it in a safe place. You can do that by scanning or photographing the entire album. It’s a time-consuming job, but future generations will thank you for it.

It gets easier to digitize old photos all the time


Google Photo

In recent years, digitization of old photos has fortunately become much easier. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, there are several good apps that can scan many pictures at a time. We can mention that “PhotoScan by Google Photos” may be worth a closer look. Here you can read Apple Tech Talk’s test of Google’s photo scan app.

Be sure to name as many of the depicted as possible. You might know them well, but will your descendants know them? Without knowing people on the pictures, a old family album is almost worthless and could be sold or at worst thrown away.