Several years ago I organized a group of family members to meet at my Grandpa's house to put all of his photos into scrapbooks. He had boxes of photos that no one ever looked at. So, we spent months sorting, labeling, and scrapbooking the photos. When we were done we had three thick 12x12 scrapbook albums, two pocket photo albums and a couple of small shoe boxes of photos neatly organized and preserved. It was definitely worth all of the hard work. Grandpa passed away in 2008. He loved those books. Everytime I would visit him we would look through the books. He loved to quiz me about our family. He was one of 18 children. Grandpa would point to a picture and ask me who the person was and how we were related. In a family as large as ours that can get really difficult! He would laugh when I would shrug and admit that I didn't have a clue. Good times.
I have those books now and I really cherish them.
Now, I have embarked on a similar project. This time it is my parent's collection of family photos and I'm doing this project on my own. Oh boy, this one is going to take some time!
I got home the other night with two tubs and a bag full of photos to sort. Then I found out that we missed a tote!
This is what I do when I work on a project like this:
1.) Gather all of the family photos, cards, keepsakes etc.
2.) Sort them by person, family group, event etc. The categories depend on your family and the type of organization you want in your finished books.
3.) Label the back of all of the photos to the best of your ability. If you think the photo was taken in 1953 based on the information that you have, then write it on the back. Don't worry if you might be a couple of years off. Close is better than nothing at all. Same thing with names. At least write the family that you think the person belongs to.
4.) I have used shoe boxes with index cards for dividers to organize the photos. I have also used manila envelopes (stapled up the sides). Use whatever works for you.
5.) Scrap one group of photos at a time. So, for example I will take the folder of one of my sister's photos and organize those by date, youngest to oldest. I will make sure they are all labeled, sort out duplicates and bad pictures. If the picture is really fuzzy or just doesn't really help capture a memory then I will either throw it away or save it in a photo box. Maybe some else will want it.
Then the actual scrapbooking can begin but that will have to wait for another post.