As a genealogist, I place a high value on family photos. They are important threads in the fabric of any family, which allow us to reach back in history, and touch the lives of our ancestors. This past week, my sister and I were fortunate to visit our Mom back in Illinois where we grew up. I admit it, I grumbled some at the suggestion of dragging out slides with screen and projector. After all, Kodak announced the demise of Kodachrome film just last week.
It turned out to be a great experience. With the passage of time, the images have taken on new and different meaning. As we viewed them, we laughed til we cried. So many shared memories were contained in those images.
The danger is that the identity of our ancestors in those images can be lost. In addition, as technology changes, the format becomes obsolete. We are looking into scanning our slides and storing the images, possibly in DVD format, for maximum storage and durability, until the next technology change.
It is so easy to throw photos in a shoe box and forget about them. Time spent organizing, labeling, watching, sharing, and preserving precious photos is time well spent, which will, no doubt, be appreciated by our descendants.
Joyce B. Lohse
2 July 2009