Many of us will come to the sad time when a parent or a grandparent has to be moved into a residential home, because they cannot look after themselves, or you do not have the time or resources to take care of them satisfactorily. One of the activities when moving your loved one out of their home, where they have probably lived for many years, is decision on what to do with the photos and slides that are stored away in boxes. Onething that you can use is a scan old photos service.
One look at the yellowing photograph of your grandmother will make you decide that that these the treasures you’ve totally forgotten about, or never even about, must be maintained for future generations.
The problem is that there are likely to be thousands of these old photographs, and you need to make a decision on how to maintain them.
Sort Through Your Photographs Properly
One of the best ways to do this is to sit with your aging relative, so that they can help you sort and order the photograph by sharing their memories, which will bring all participants many hours of enjoyment. At the end of this exercise, you can make picture collection their computer screen saver.
The time to sort the photos will depend on:
- The number of photos to sort
- The condition of the photos and slides,as some may need repairing due to pollutants, high relative humidity, and residual processing chemicals
Be very careful when handling the photographs:
- Do not mark, crease or tear the prints
- Never put your fingers on the image itself (if possible, wear white cotton gloves)
- Do not pick up the photos by one corner – support them with both your hands
- Look at the photos on a clean surface
We have an article on how to sort your photos here.
Do It Yourself Digitizing or Use a Professional Scanning Service?
This is another very big decision that you will have to make. On average, a photograph collection will consist of around 3000 photos.
Without any repair work, the typical scanning, formatting and saving times using your own equipment are:
- Photos – 1-3 minutes each
- Slides – 3-5 minutes (due to the high resolution) each
Using these numbers, you can know roughly calculate the number of hours that it will take to scan the photographs yourself, and determine if you have the time and commitment to do the task
Professional Scan Old Photos Service
If you decide to use a professional scan old photos service, like Digitize Media, the original image can be blow up to roughly four times the size before the reproduced image starts to degrade in quality.
Scanning can damage older, more delicate prints, so consider re-photographing them instead before sending them to a professional photo scanning company. Re-photographing also applies to photo albums that you do not want to take apart.
We recommend sorting by folders, and indexing by the date the photo was taken, include the location and the names of people in the photograph.
Preserving the Original Photographs
If you must note something on the back of a print photograph, use a soft pencil and never use staples, pins, paper clips or rubber bands.
For storage places, avoid attics and basements, where there will to be fluctuating temperature during the year. Also, do not store old photos in freshly painted rooms because new paint can cause damage the surfaces of the photos.
Place photographs in polyester sleeves so that you will not have to take the photos in and out of envelopes.
If you are displaying photographs at home, frame the original photos with UV glass and position the photos away from the direct sunlight. If the photos are fading badly, think about using a digital copy in the photo frame, and keep the original photographs out of the light.
If you do not need the photos after they have been digitised, think whether a local museum, image library or school would be interested in them.