I am regularly asked: What should I do with the family history photos I’ve collected over the years. I, myself,
have had the same dilemma as I’ve inherited boxes and boxes of family heritage pictures and original documents.
I wanted a way to preserve these family memories and keep them safe. I’ve learned over the years that
no matter what you do to store your pictures safely, they are slowly deteriorating and fading away.
What then is the answer?
In a word: Digitization. Getting your old photos digitized and safely stored, and backed up is the best way to preserve all of this vital part of family history. Having digital copies of your family history photos allows you to more easily preserve them and share them!
Preserve & Organize
However, digitization isn’t the end of the path. Once all of your pictures are digitized, you can organize the photos
any way you like to make them easy to find and share. It is important to find an organizational tool that
will allow you to create a flexible organizational structure that is easy to use and works for you. You may
want to organize your family history pictures by family within your selected tool. Your chosen tool should also keep your digital items permanently safe. Look for a cloud-based storage platform that is permanent (read the terms of service!) and has organizing tools such as tagging and albums that will help you and future generations find and enjoy those heritage photos.
Tell the Story
It is wonderful when all your family history photos are digitized and stored safely. It is even better when everything is
organized. But, there is one additional step that might be the most important: TELL THE STORIES. I have quite a few
pictures from family members that have passed away that have interesting people in interesting places, but I have no
idea who they are. Sadly, these pictures are next to worthless without the names and stories that go along with them. It is essential to document your current and past photos to ensure future generations can enjoy the pictures. When deciding on what organizing tool to use, make sure that the one you choose has the ability for stories to be documented and saved with the photos.
When you have all of your family history photos digitized, organized, and labeled, you can continue to gather
more family history media. Other members of your family probably have photos or memorabilia that
would be interesting to add to your growing digital collection. Documents are also important – such as scans of the family bible, certificates of birth, death, or marriage, or photos of your ancestors are out there for you to find, gather, and enjoy! Also, at this moment, you are continuing to create family history, so make sure to include your current photos, videos, and documents in your collection! In reality, family history is not a task that is ever truly completed, so keep going! If you would like more ideas, make sure to contact me. I would love to help!
FREE Family History Event
If you would like more ideas related to keeping your family history photos safe, make sure to register for our FREE Family History Event. It will be February 26, 2022 from 12pm-4pm ET on Zoom. Even if you can’t attend live, make sure to register so you can watch the recordings later! Click here to register.