5 Steps to Preserving Your Family History

I feel that many of us in our 40s, 50s, and 60s neglect to ask about our heritage until our loved ones are either infirm or they pass away.  What can we do now to preserve our family’s history and heritage?

  1. While your parents are still living, and if you are blessed to still have grandparents living, start asking questions.  Have them share stories and ask to go through photographs so you can play the “name that person” game.  All too often, I see heirs throwing away family photos because they are unidentified.  Make sure you ask your older relatives prior to memory impairment.
  2. Choose a small amount of photos that you would like to preserve and have them professionally copied for other siblings/heirs.  This is a lovely and meaningful gift to give.  Some clients have made memory books for each child, complete with the “who’s who.”
  3. If there are too many photographs to have reproduced or it is not financially feasible to do so, use your digital camera and photograph each photo.  This can be put on CDs for you and for other family members.  It costs very little and takes up almost no room.
  4. Remember if you handle original photos, keep them in acid-free envelopes.  Use a post-it note on the back to identify each subject in the picture, until you can create your own inventory sheet, reproduction photo, or CD.
  5. Use this article from Kimberly Powell to help you with proper scanning procedures:  http://genealogy.about.com/cs/digitalphoto/a/digital_photos.htm

Today I’ve discussed photos only, but there are many more ways to preserve your tangible family history.  Do you want to know the #1 BEST idea to presrve family history?  Check back next Monday!

© 2010 Julie Hall

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Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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