If you own one of those old photo albums with the self-adhesive pages go check it right now! If it is cradling someone’s baby pictures, as mine was, take them out. I only had two left in our collection- everything else had long ago been converted to albums with pockets, or to photo storage boxes. Robert’s baby photos and some childhood photos of Gary were in matching albums given to me by his grandmother. I thought they were great at the time- we all did. Big mistake!
I was looking for a photo today and took Robert’s album out. Not only is it disintegrating, but some of the photos- many of them Polaroids- are discolored. I immediately dug out Gary’s album and it is actually in better shape. Maybe because it isn’t opened as often or because it was in a different location or because the book was somehow different, it only had a couple of bad pages. However, I completely removed all of the photos from both books and will be scanning them this week. I’ll make a CD of the copies and then put the originals in new albums.
It was very difficult to remove some of the photos, so if you attempt it, be slow and careful. I actually had to cut around some of the photos and leave the cardboard behind them. One bonus benefit of this event was that I discovered that some of the photos were labeled on the back. That was especially great for two “mystery” photos I’d always wondered about.
One of my personal goals for this year is to copy more of our family photos, label them, and send them to my children. I also plan to work on the gaps in our family history. I’ve worked for other families for years and have let our family genealogy sit on the shelf. Time to get back to it.
So…lesson learned. Be careful where and how you store your photos, and check them at least once a year to see how they are surviving.
And of course I can't post this without including a couple of my husband's photos. Always a helmet on his head or a camera on his neck!