Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Genealogy: Storing Negatives

For the past several years I've been sifting through old family photos and trying to make some sense of them. I've scanned them into the computer, labelled them, and made a spreadsheet of information. For the most part, I've tried to keep them in the books in which I found them. In most cases, I have duplicates spread across three books, but I know from experience with my own photos that my descendants are going to be having the same problem as they sift through my boxes.

In the digital age, negatives are no longer an issue. Film is no longer an issue. Anyone can print a photo  on their home printer, or they can share it through any number of social networking sites. When dealing with pictures from the 1920s through the 1990s, negatives are just a fact of life.

I was blessed with a grandmother who was meticulous in labeling photographs. Most of the photos have her handwriting on the back, with names, dates, and locations. Duplicates were given the same care. She placed negatives behind the photos in case a copy was ever needed, and most of these negatives were the same size as the picture.

In an effort to preserve some of the pictures, I've moved them to better albums with acid-free paper. The negatives I've moved as well, labeling them with the number and placing them in special, archival-safe plastic sleeves.

Much better! (The label colors have no meaning.) I found the negative sleeves on Amazon.com. They come in different sizes for differing types of negatives. 

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