Family memories are precious and important, not only for you but for all the later generations in the family who might be interested in learning about their roots and where they come from. How many times have you wondered what your grandparents were like, their stories, and wanted to connect with your roots through old photo albums, letters, and other documents?
In the same way, you need to preserve these memories too so your future generations can learn about their history and their traditions and their culture. But it’s easier said than done – photos can fade, letters can get lost, and stories can be altered every time they’re told. If archeologists can manage to preserve history from thousands of years ago, we feel confident that you can preserve the story of that one eventful thanksgiving and how you managed to buy your family home, or how you met your spouse.
There’s also a question of preserving old family memories that already exist, like old photos and those letters we mentioned above. So if you want to know, keep reading!
Keep Digital Copies
Data is forever, and the best way to make sure your family history lasts is to digitize it. Even if the quality of the photos deteriorates, you will still have the digital copies to pass down and look at. Make sure to keep several copies of the photos either in cloud storage or a USB, and maybe share with other members in the family so they all have copies. This way if something happens to one of the USBs, all will not be lost.
The best way to digitize photos is by scanning them, and you can either do it yourself by buying a home scanner or have a professional do it for you. On the other hand, taking a photo of your photos with a digital camera works fine too, but it’s usually easy to tell what’s a scan and what’s a photo of a photo.
Have it Painted
If you want to display old photos in your home, either make and display copies (while keeping the original safely tucked away – we’ll talk about how) or have someone turn them into a painting on canvas. Be honest, which one would be cooler? An old photo hung up on the wall, or a cool old-timey painting?
There are countless online services that can help you do this without breaking the bank, so knock yourself out.
Store Photos Carefully
If you have an old photo album or individual photos, save them in a cool, dark, and dry atmosphere in acid free boxes, and keep some acid free paper in between them to keep them separated. All these measures will help the photos stay in their original condition for much longer.
Humidity, high temperatures, and even light harms the way the photos look, which is another reason why we don’t suggest displaying old photos in your home – the sun damage is an actual thing.
If you must display photos, make a copy and have it printed and developed from a professional photographer.