You have spent a great deal of time researching your family history and in the course found many pictures to help bring your ancestors to life. You have also spent time organizing those pictures in cardboard boxes, or scrap books, or in directories on your computer, or on a pen/thumb drive, or your favorite genealogy software.
Now, someone in your family is finally showing interest in what you are doing and would like to see some of it. Especially the pictures. Or better yet. You want to share your treasures with your children and grand children.
The question now is, how? How do you give them something that they will be able to find a year from now? How will you help them to keep all the people in the picture straight? How can you add more pictures of great grandpa that you later find without making what they had obsolete?
Let’s talk about scanning, cropping, boxing, and organizing. Let’s talk about saving the picture history of your great grandparents so your great grand children will know them too.
I have found a picture
1. What form is it?
a. Tangible. Paper, slides, etc.
b. Bits and Bytes. Digital, pen drive, cd, thumb drive,,,
2. What to do with the paper?
a. Make a great paper copy of the digital
b. Label on the back of the paper. Use an acid free photo marker.
i. Full names of everyone
ii. Date photo taken
iii. Place photo taken
c. Safely store the original or paper copy
i. Where. Acid free container. Out of the light. Constant temperature.
ii. How to organize. Name then number. Number then name. ??
1. Name. A box by name so when granddaughter asks about great grandpa Jones you go to the box with the George Jones folder.
2. Number. Same question but you go to your family history software first to show what you have about George Jones on the computer and then go to the folder with his number go get her a paper copy of a picture.
3. What to do with the digital? (ideas from Marlo Schuldt of Heritage Collector)
a. Clean scanner glass. Scan nothing to see the smudges. Clean with mild vinegar water.
b. Put the picture in the scanner start point. It will be labeled. Saves scanning time.
c. Don’t use default setting on scanner. Change to ‘Advanced’ or ‘Professional’.
i. Resolution or DPI(dots per inch) 300 dpi for paper. 600 dpi for slides
ii. Target or Output size = 8x10. No matter what your picture size is.
iii. Type = TIF. It is large but used everywhere. No loss if edited.
iv. Enhancements. Experiment! Often auto correction is great. You can always undo.
v. Crop. Make separate pictures of each person for their pedigree pic. Zoom in!
vi. Descreen. It will make your newspaper clippings look great. No more checkerboard.
i. Stop bleed through. Printing on both sides will sometimes ‘bleed through’ the other side when scanning. Just put a piece of black construction paper on top of item to be scanned. Then close lid and scan.
ii. Picture too big for your scanner? Take a picture of it with your digital camera. Use a tripod and natural light if possible.
iii. Coin, medal, plate. Scan if it fits (place a cloth over it) or use digital camera if too big.
iv. Don’t QC the scans on your monitor. Most monitors are less than 100 dpi. You cannot see the quality. You must print if you want to see.
e. Make cropped digital photos of each person in the photo
f. Organize the digital photos in your favorite family history software
ii. Tell what you know about the photo