Storing photos before the digital age

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Posted 1/20/2013 by txanstolte in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 521,093
September 2011
Posts: 109
Layouts: 15
Loc: Texas

Posted: 1/20/2013 10:33:40 PM
I have tons of photos that were taken before digital photos. My mother (who passed away couple yrs ago) stored all the photos in night stand drawers. They are not in any order, some photos are just loosely laying in the drawer. There are photos of her childhood, my dad's childhood,& my brother & mine. Some of the photos I can figure out events or the story behind the photo. My dad is able to answer some of my questions about the photos, and i can ask some family members about photos. however, my mom had the best memory for all that stuff. What I would really like is to get them organized and stored in an orderly fashion. I have gone thought the photos & pulled some to scrap. I have scrapped a lot of them (my therapy after the lost of my mother), but i keep adding to the pile. They are sitting in a pile on my desk. I could use some ideas on storage & how you all choose which old photos to scrap?



PeaNut 575,419
December 2012
Posts: 51
Layouts: 1
Loc: the mountains of western PA

Posted: 1/20/2013 10:54:02 PM
You could sort your photos as to who the main focus is in the picture, your dad, you mom,your brother, you. Since you don't know the story behind each pic and you are going to as relatives, this might make it easier. As far as which ones to scrap, I would look at them and decide which "speak" to you. I did a scrapbook to honor my Mom on her 85th birthday. I couldn't ask her questions about some of the picturesI used but was able to make nice layouts that she could look at and enjoy. I picked out the pictures that I liked. You should do what feels right to you.
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PeaNut 435,437
August 2009
Posts: 545
Layouts: 23
Loc: Elmhurst Illinois

Posted: 1/20/2013 10:54:18 PM
I decided to store them in photo albums. I used to have them in two-up albums, but then switched to 3 ring binders with the the 4x6 pocket page protectors. I wanted them to match my scrapbooks. I am sorry I did because the pages are sagging. But it was too much work to switch so I won't go back.

Anyway, I put them in photo albums because it is unlikely that I will ever scrapbook the majority of these photos. I still wanted the ability to view them in chronological order (it's what makes sense to me). Many of these photos had dates on the back, so I put those on my large dinning room table in order. Then I looked at all the non-dated photos and tried to put them with the years I already had. It is time consuming, but actually much easier than you think. And don't forget to purge as you go along. If no one in family knew who the person was in the photo, it got tossed out.

I decide what to scrapbook by looking at these albums every now and then and going with the photo that inspires me at the time. I scan the original and work with the scanned image for my LO. The original goes back in the album. Hope this helps.


PeaNut 281,136
October 2006
Posts: 2,262
Layouts: 6
Loc: DFW, TX

Posted: 1/20/2013 11:00:13 PM
Sorry for your loss. I'm glad you've been able to get some scrapped already.

For photo storage, there are a lot of options. I really love the Creative Memories Powersort Boxes (the old giant black ones that retailed for $35 or so). They hold 1200 photos in individual containers of 200 each within the bigger box, and there are plastic dividers you can write on to further sort them. I have three of them, and several of the mini Powersort boxes (that hold 600).

Whatever you get, make sure it's photo safe/archival quality, and that it allows for a certain amount of flexibly in sorting (for when you inevitably change your mind).

One thing I did when sorting a giant amount of undated photos was to spread out across a couple of tables (floor works too), with post-it notes for each year the photos spanned. I put the photos by each post-it if it had a date or I was pretty sure of it, then used hairstyles, clothes, cars, etc. to figure out the rest (within a couple of years, at least).

I highly recommend scanning the photos once they're sorted, too.

As far as choosing which ones to scrap - pick your favorites, or the ones that remind you of specific memories! Or you could try for chronological if you want.

Good luck!

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