I’m still organizing photos and memorabilia. In fact, I feel as if I will be perpetually organizing. I guess it just comes with the territory when you inherit 5+ generations of family images.
True confession: I’ve been scared to death to tackle the boxes and boxes of vintage family photos until recently. It wasn’t until I began outsourcing the scans that it seemed doable.
I realize I still have all the digital work: tagging, captioning and editing. Yet that all seems a lot more doable then finding time to scan. I’m not really sure why.
And this one of my grandparents on a trip to Hawaii in 1961… you can barely see my grandmother carrying her train case in the lower left corner of the image. I love train cases because when there was a train case in the bathroom at our home it always meant that grandma was there and memories would be made…
I’m learning that organizing is a sifting process. The boxes and boxes of family memorabilia I inherited aren’t just neatly organized with photos and slides – they are intermixed with family stories, birth dates, old cards and postcards, mixed in with papers showing important dates of life and family events.
The first sifting occurred when I sorted through everything and weeded out duplicates and things that weren’t necessary. That was really difficult because I come from a family of savers. My grandmother saved every college paper she ever wrote. Receipts for just about everything she bought. Cards that everyone sent. A big part of this project has been just making the decisions as to what is most important. Because too much information is really still too much information no matter how much you love the person it is associated with.
In the second sifting I sorted through with the intention to find all the photos that needed to be scanned – I came across some fun items – like old programs from fundraising events. I loved the vintage ads – especially this one…
The crazy connection here is that my grandmother lived in Idaho all my life. However, when she was married and her children were young, she lived in Bountiful, Utah. Fast forward 50 years and Troy and I lived in Centerville, Utah where my favorite gardening store just happened to be J and L.
It was fun to see that my grandmother frequented the same garden store when she was my age and her children were young as mine were when we lived in Centerville. It was fun to discover a connection she and I both have to one business over fifty years apart. Another fun tidbit is that when my grandmother lived in Bountiful J and L was in Centerville. When I lived in Centerville J and L was in Bountiful.
It really makes me think about how future generations will view our photos with GPS coordinates today. How many places will we both be generations apart?
It is a big project to try and curate these photos. It’s not just about getting them organized but the larger goals of finding the best way to share them – especially with family members who aren’t very tech friendly.
Even with the challenges this project presents, I am so grateful for the perspective it gives me. As I work to organize and share the memories of my family, I am beginning to see better ways to curate the present in a way that will be meaningful for future generations.