Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Scanning, Scanning, and then Scanning Some More

I haven't written a blog post in a while because I've been busy scanning.  And scanning.  And scanning.  Sometimes I make a drinking game out of it.

1. If the next photo has nothing written on the back, then take a drink!

2. If the next photo had something written on the back but someone trimmed the photo in such a way as to remove all words other than "A" and "the" and "and that's where I buried the gold", then take a drink!

3. If the next photo has writing on the back but turns out to have been added within the past 10 years and is actually incorrectly identifying the people in the photo, then take a drink!

That usually wraps up the scanning exercise early for the day.

I'm a glutton for punishment though, I was so happy to scan an album that belonged to my grandmother that I didn't know she had.  I knew the album, but at some point in the past several years, she had replaced what was in it with very old photos that she must have inherited from her sister and brother after they died.

I freely admit, the album was a little daunting:


But I broke it into steps - First Step!  Photograph each page to get a record of how my grandmother placed the photos.  At first I thought they were random - just what would fit where, but shame on me, of course Grandma was grouping by people she thought were the same or from the same family group.  Like all of her brother Les's kids were on one page.

So now that I had that record of how it looked - Step Two!  I took the whole thing apart - took out every photograph.

Step Three!  Start the Scanning!  Here's where I scanned and scanned and scanned.  Each photo - front and if anything was there, the back.  Even if it was just the numbering from the developer I scanned it because you can match photos to a single roll if you find the same number on the back.

Step Four!  Put the photos in a safe place!  I have an archival box that I got from a great website of archival needs that is acid-free and safe and I put them all in there while I reviewed the digital images.

Step Five!  Organize!

So this took me a bit - I created folders with each family members name, or whatever name was written and placed each photo I could identify FOR SURE into the appropriate folder.  If a photo had more than one family member in it, I put a copy in each folder.

Step Six!  Acquire a family online that will help you identify photos you are clueless about!  I just so happen to be very fortunate - I am a member of 2 family groups in facebook where I've been able to post these images and get feedback.  All those cousins of mine are fantastic and have helped so much.  :-)  Yay for Mix and Akins families!!!!

Step Seven!!  Back it up!  Everywhere.  Redundancy is my middle name.

Step Eight!  Share everything possible - you never know who is going to be able to help or who will be so happy and grateful to see a photo that you had no clue would be so important to someone else. 

I love love love being able to share all these images I scan!

Final Step!  Repeat this for the 22 photo albums sitting upstairs.  :-)

But while I do that I so enjoy having photos like this of my great-great-grandmother Hattie E. Kirby Akins Quick Robson Allen (yes, she was a popular gal and YES, she out-lived each of them)  :-D


  1. So this is where you're getting everything from! :) I gotta start uploading more photos too! Hopefully I can get more from my family albums at my mom's house.

  2. What a great post full of ideas, Leah . . . I have been doing the same. I have most (not all) photos separated and into their own boxes (for each person or family). Then I grab a box and start scanning. Sometimes I will grab a box and my Flip Pal mobile scanner and sit and watch my favorite show while I do it. Goes fast too! It's such a great feeling when you know you are on the road to getting organized, scanned, labeled and digitized.

  3. How wonderful, Leah. I gotta say, either your grandmother was very smart or you are very lucky: she used photo corners instead of sticking down the photos with glue!!! I would love to have 22 photo albums! Amazing!!!

  4. I love how you've broken it out into steps! I have boxes and boxes sorted by family but I've been scanning them haphazardly as I need them. One thing I've found is that if I don't note that I've already scanned something, I've scanned it again. So now I make a little note on the back of the photo that it's scanned. But if I just made the effort to sit and scan an entire box, I wouldn't have that issue.