This morning, my sister was given some very historically important photographs to look after. They were from my brother in law’s Dad from the early days of line fishing in the Cook Strait with images dating back from the early 1900’s. They were actually only photocopies of the originals, which at this stage the whereabouts remains unknown.
I offered to help preserve and potentially increase the usefulness of the images by digitizing them. I was able to load them up into the bulk loader of my Brother MFC-7430 scanner and automatically run the images through while I worked on other things. There were two images that would not fit through, one was too big and the other too small. I scanned them both on the flatbed scanner- stitching back together the two half scans of the larger image in Photoshop.
I then burned a Photo-CD of the images and printed contact sheets of all the scans matching the file numbers on the CD. Lastly I posted a web gallery of all the images here. It feels good to be able to preserve history using the tools and skills I have dealing with photographs on a daily basis. Its also fun to be able to look at some of these great historical photos and learn about how different times were then!
As well as passing on the Photo-CD to my brother in law to keep, these images are now housed on my photo server, which has offsite backups (hard drives) and a 3rd backup of Photo-DVDs in case of computer problems. In the future, it would be great to get access to scan the original photos for higher quality archiving, but for now- this is a good solution to preserve the memories.