Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sorting Saturday - Photo Album Archiving & Digital Sorting - Part 2

Last week we took a look at Mom's old family photo album containing pictures from her early childhood up through about the time I was born.  I explained how I had digitized the album.  This week we are going to look at the next step.

I wanted to leave a trail of the digitizing project and the provenance of the album.  So the next step was to create a Word document in which I described the provenance and included a picture of the front cover.  Mom and I had gone through her album in detail in 1998 with me sketching out the layout of each page and Mom providing whatever identification and dating information that she could for each picture.  Those details were written directly onto the sketched pages and left inside the album between the pages they applied to.  The fact that we had done this was also included in the provenance. 

I felt it was important to include an inventory of the digital file names but didn't want to spent a lot of time doing it.  So I simply pulled up the folder listing the files in Mom's album and took screen images which were then pasted right into the Word document.

Now that I had a complete inventory and provenance, I saved the Word document into the file folder with the digital images and printed off 3 copies.
  • One to put with the physical album.
  • One for my Heirloom Book.  After all, it is an heirloom.
  • One for the notebook I keep documenting all of the papers and photos I have gone through and inventoried.
Next week we'll wrap up this project by tackling the physical storage and preservation part.

To read the other installations in this series:
Part 1
Part 3
Part 4

© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Thanks for you great ideas! I just started an Heirloom Book of my own (having tried other formats that didn't work very well). How do you do your notebook about what's been inventoried? I'm having trouble keeping track of what photos I've scanned but don't want to add a lot of work to the scanning work...
    Thanks again!

  2. Pat, I'm glad these posts have been helpful to you!

    I've been trying to keep my "inventory notebook" fairly simple (if that's possible :) I have a section for each item or subject or whatever that I have inventoried. So I will have a section for Mom's family photo album, I have another one for the first box of papers of my great grandfather's, another one for family slides, a section for pictures my cousin has scanned and sent me. You get the idea.

    It's probably not the best set up for doing a fast search for an item though. But I figure it's better than nothing.

    I've also used Clooz to catalog photos that I have scanned. You might look into that too.

    Really it's been kind of an evolving method....

  3. Michelle,

    Clooz is a good idea - I currently use it for the documents I have completely sourced (too few!) but haven't started using it for images. In the notebook sections are you just listing what's been inventoried/scanned? As I get to the end of my piles of boxes I can see the (next) need to have lists or something to let me know what I have besides my memory ("I know I have that somewhere"!).

  4. Pat, the notebook sections are pretty much just lists of what I have inventoried/scanned. I do also include a provenance and information regarding where the originals are kept. I just keep trying to include information that will help when I need to find something or answer a question months or years down the road.

    I'm planning on digging into a few more boxes in the next few weeks. I will write about my experiences so stay tuned...