The other day as I was driving to a client's home to help them organize, I was listening to National Public Radio. (I have to confess, I'm an NPR junkie! I feel like a smarty pants learning new things as I drive about town.) The topic on NPR was "Scanning Old Photos A Shoebox At A Time". Sam Allen the CEO of Scancafe did a study and he discovered that there are 550 billion analog photos sitting in shoe boxes or other types of storage in American homes. Yikes!
When I was living in Omaha, two friends and I opened a storefront scrapbook store. Customers would bring their boxes, old magnetic albums, etc..., into the store to seek help to get those photos in a safe place. It was sad to see some of the photos beginning to fade and memories lost.
I bring this up to remind you as the kids go back to school, take a few minutes in your day and locate your photos. Make sure they are safely stored, PVC free and archival safe!
A great Christmas gift to add to your 2009 Christmas list would be to have your photos scanned. Once you have them all on a disk you are able to make various copies to give to your family members.
There are local businesses that have this service, Costco has just began scanning photos and converting slides, there are online services, Scancafe.com (The CEO mentioned their business is in India, so the photos are shipped, that makes me a wee bit nervous), Scandigital.com. Another alternative is to make your own book bound albums with companies like Snapfish.com or Shutterfly.com. Don't forget your VHS tapes too. If the VHS tapes are not viewed a few times a year the tape begins to fade.
In this time of digital photos we tend to download our photos onto our computers and forget about them. Remember to back up your harddrive in case your computer crashes or use an online service to back up your computer regularly, Mozy.com is a great resource and if you don't have large files it's free.