Google+ Adventures of a Southern Gentleman: Good Information: Preserving Memories

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Good Information: Preserving Memories

A word of warning for those of us that have physical photos taken before the widespread use of digital cameras.   I was looking through an album of photos taken in the late 90’s and discovered that a couple of ultrasound photos for one of my children had degraded quite a bit, which is no wonder since they were printed on thermal paper.   I promptly scanned them in order to preserve a digital copy of them, though much of the original detail was lost.

This incident prompted me to consider the relative longevity of certain types of photos such as those printed on thermal paper like the ultrasounds or those little Chuck E Cheese photos, or the Polaroids from the 70’s and 80’s.   While I don’t have many of these types, the ones that I do have are showing signs of fading.   Even normal color photos run the risk of damage by heat, water or fire.  

How many photos do you have stuck away in boxes that you haven’t looked at in years?   Have you lost any precious memories without even knowing? 

I plan on taking stock of these old photos and scanning them to create a digital backup.   I have a scanner, so I will probably do it myself, but there are also services out there that will for a modest fee scan them for you.

We tend to forget that digital cameras haven’t been around for that long, though it seems like it’s been forever.   While digital photos are hopefully backed up many times on hard drives, CDs, DVDs, Flickr and other places, those hard copy photos and negatives aren’t.  

Take steps to preserve those memories.

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