Thursday, August 14, 2008
The family photo sorting and scanning went smoothly until I turned to the bankers’ box labelled “misc.” It is so daunting I think I will put the project aside for a while. Maybe going back later with a fresh eye will yield better results. Meanwhile, the point of the undertaking was to preserve the most important images by putting them on CDs or DVDs and storing them away from home -- easily accomplished by giving copies to family members.
At the same time I was bringing together these top priority photographs, I was revising and supplementing the physical (hard copy) albums, and making sure they were archivally “correct.” And it strikes me -- belatedly -- that the collection of real (non-digital) photos ends with the purchase of my first digital camera. All the more reason to get everything copied onto CDs.
Of course it is possible to order prints from digital photos -- most photo management programs enable this if the computer has an internet connection. But it is important to remember such photos are available only in standard sizes, so a picture which has been cropped to non-conforming proportions (like square, or tall and narrow) may come out looking rather odd.
One thing this project has reminded me of is the importance of identifying people in photos! Fortunately I had an aunt who was able to put names and places to many of the group pictures from that side of the family, and my mother did the same for her line. But there are a few which need further work. One photo is of a lovely young woman with two small children. Sadly, she was killed in an accident at the age of 26. I know her name, and that of her surviving spouse, but not the children’s names. However, with the date of death, it should not be too difficult to find an obituary.
In other news, you should know about the extraordinary work going on through the auspices of the LDS Church (which also sponsors the Family History Library). The Mormons are supervising the indexing of immense numbers of documents and posting the results online. As with their Family History Library data, use of these is FREE. To take a look, go to familysearchlabs.org, click on “record search,” then “search ancestors,” then select your preferred region from the world map. I was thrilled to find Ohio death records, 1908-1953, allowing me to pinpoint the death date for the young mother mentioned above, and an actual image of her death certificate. New material is being posted regularly, so it is worthwhile to check the site periodically. (You can also volunteer to help, from home.)
Hope you like my photo of scarlet flax. It is just a reminder that while we are embroiled in genealogy or the demands of daily life, it is important to stop and smell the flowers. (OK, so linum grandiflorum var. rubrum isn’t fragrant -- you get the idea.)