Jenny Brown (skywind8) wrote,
Jenny Brown

Archiving and Preserving

I am at the beginning of a project of archiving and preserving family photo memories from my childhood and before (even into my parents' childhoods). My first focus is finding and ordering reasonably priced, acid-free and archival safe storage boxes and envelopes. Even this is turning out to be quite a task, as the things I'd most like to get are back-ordered, and I find it annoying to order and wait not knowing if the order will ever actually come through. But be that as it may... I have found some options.

The process of sorting and labeling will be interesting, if tedious. Slides are currently in original sets, roughly one roll of film per set. I used small ziplock bags for temporary storage, so I do still have the original sets matched, and most are labeled. I need boxes to arrive so I can transfer the labels to the new storage units. I estimate around 500 slides (probably just over that) based on the current sets; this is a relatively small number actually. I'm looking at this slide kit for storage, or rather, its component parts, since I only need half as many boxes. I like the subdividing and extra space for labeling, and I've had good experience with the reinforced boxes.

I still would like to clean the slides before sending them in to be scanned, if indeed I do decide to send them, which I'm not sure about yet. I'm thinking I'll send a set of my recent (non-family) artsy slides in first to make sure the place does a good job and I understand their process. My slides are clean and not warped; the family slides are not clean, some need new mounts, and some have really aged and questionable emulsions. There's a lot of work to do before they can even be scanned.

Then there's the question of the negatives. I have a LOT more of those. Fortunately, they're in better condition, having been inside more layers of protection and better conditions. They're generally clean, which likely also means unscratched in most cases. I have archival safe paper envelopes on the way to let me store the negatives, but the prints will take a lot more space. And I still have to sit through the process of transferring one roll at a time into the negative envelope, writing in a roll id number and names/dates, and tagging the prints set with the same roll id number. This is only made less tedious by the fact that I will enjoy checking out the photos as I go. Then there's the task of getting them scanned, too, so the images can be viewed by family; there's a lot to pay for if I decide to have them ALL scanned. Or a heck of a lot of hours (and still the cost of a scanner) if I do it myself.

And after that is all the prints that can't be accounted for from the negatives, although those are easy easy to do on my flatbed scanner here at home. Still they will need safe envelope storage, too, and labeling and organization.

What an odd and interesting mound of work. And I'm trying to keep costs reasonable while also making sure that what I do put into it is worthwhile - that is, the archival safe storage is plenty good enough.
Tags: family_archival, scrapbook
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