The Great Scanning Project

Sorting Slides in prep for scanning
When my Mother passed away, I became the "keeper" of the family archives.  This is quite a job as my Mother worked at doing the family genealogy almost full time for over 20 years.  The collection includes all the research, publications with appropriate and background information, memorabilia that ranges from clothing to teacups to miner's headlamps, etc.  Not to mention the huge amount of slides and photographs, not only from her and my Father's life together, but for all the extended genealogy family research!  It takes up a huge amount of space.  An entire room in my basement is dedicated wholly to storing all this research as I'll show you below.  

Thus, I embarked on a plan (even before my Mother passed away) to at least get all the photos and slides scanned and organized.  That's the short term goal.  The long term goal is to get all the memorabilia photographed and all the research scanned/digitized.  Then, I hope to donate the entire physical lot of it to some organization who will be able to house it and make it available to those who would like to access the information.  I haven't found a source who will take it yet, but that's my hope.  

Sorting Slides
The first step was finding a way to organize the slides.  It's so much easier if I can scan them directly to an organized file.  I chose to do it chronologically, at least for the slides and photos from my parent's marriage in 1955 to the present time.  The slides have been stored in a number of different ways, so I've been gathering them from boxes, slide carousels, baggies, suitcases, etc. and organizing them by year.  Within each year, I find many are dated by the month they were developed and so I've been sorting them by develop date and the number order, which is also usually printed on the slide.  Then I have been putting them in shallow boxes by year with tabs for the date and specific events so I can easily scan a group to a file on the computer by the same name.    Eventually, these will be stored in some metal slide files that I ordered.  They will take up significantly less space than the carousel boxes do!   

Set up for working
The scanner sits next to my computer desk and with the addition of the little table to organize things, the scanning goes pretty quickly, all things considered!  I can scan slides at the rate of about 180 slides an hour if I'm organized and all goes well.  It's a good project to work on late at night when I'm awake due to my crazy working schedule as a night nurse.  

Slides in Page protectors
Some of the slides have been stored in these "protector" sheets.  I'm discovering that they are my least favorite of the storage methods.  Too many of the slides stored this way have gotten scratched while inserting or removing them.  And simply, they are just a pain in the neck to deal with.  I'm SO glad to be getting the slides out of them. 

Suitcase full of slides
Some of the slides were stored in this old suitcase.  At least it kept them dry, dark and contained, but probably not ideal!  

Main Genealogy Storage
The majority however are stored in carousel boxes.  They take up a huge amount of space.  I've already scanned over 6 or 7 boxes not shown here.  This wall of shelves is all genealogy storage, photographs (boxes and boxes in addition to albums) and slides.  The file cabinet is also half full of genealogy stuff.  The bottom row of boxes and the boxes out of view to the left hold memorabilia and notebooks of research. 

Photo Albums - 80 plus years
These are the photo albums from my family dating back from the 1930's to the present time.  Most of the older photos are in boxes or notebooks of research.

More Photos and Memorabilia
This shelf also contains more photo albums, framed pictures and more memorabilia (and my Christmas China, which is just about the only non-genealogy stuff in the entire room!). 

So as you can see, I have quite a job ahead of me.  Scanning slides is easy, just time consuming.  Photographs and negatives are a little harder.  I do love discovering some of the wonderful photos tucked away in all of this.  They are a nice reward for all the hard work and keep me motivated.   It's a big job!  


Susan Elliott said…
Oh boy! And I thought my two big rubbermaid contaners of photos was a big project!!! Once again, I wish you lived closeby. We could tackle it all together. You truly are a saint.
Oh wow - I don't envy you! I hope that the photos are labeled with who they are and when they were taken - so many of them aren't and it's such a shame. Good luck!
gaylenona said…
I too am the keeper of the family slides. My sister has started "encouraging" me to do something about them, so after 26 years of having them sit in a closet, I just may get going. Big job!
Lisa, I can so relate! I have a double closet full of photos I have scanned into my computer and sorted by family etc. My mother just moved to an apartment and my brother and I are looking for a scanner to scan the slides we found. Would you mind sharing what scanner you are using and what your evaluation of it is? I'm not looking forward to this chore but there are too many 'good' photos to just stick them away somewhere. You appear to have a good control over the research materials.
É um bonito e interessante projeto! Sem duvida voce tem muito trabalho e diversão pela frente!
Meus olhos foram atraidos para a mala no alto da estante! Lindo!
Um abraço!

t is a beautiful and interesting project! No doubt you have a lot of work and fun ahead!
My eyes were attracted to the bag on top of the bookcase! Gorgeous!
Lelia said…
I find this so interesting. What kind of slide reader are you using? And these are uploaded to your computer?

Have you considered donating to the local geneaology branch of the public library or the Mormon group?

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