Preserving Memories: Memory Albums

Preserving Memories: Memory Albums

Creative ways to save and share your family history.

Safe Keeping: Memory Albums

So you’ve decided it’s time to organize and preserve your family photographs in an album. May be you’ll even get ambitious by adding a copy of Grandma’s birth certificate, your son’s graduation program and an embellishment or two. Great! You know to choose an acid-free, lignin-free album and to avoid magnetic ones at all costs-but then you get to the craft store and the selection is, well, intimidatingly huge and varied.

Let us help: Our breakdown of the basic album types, along with their pros and cons and tips for using each, will help you pick out exactly what you need. 

Time-Tested

Keeping scrapbooks was as popular a pastime in our ancestors’ day as it is today. Men, women and children pasted newspaper articles, advertisements, letters, recipes and other ephemera into albums — Mark Twain reserved entire Sundays to work on his. Through essays on the scrap books of an African-American musician, a physician, a Depression-era teen and South Carolina plantation ladies, The Scrapbook in American Life (Temple University Press) explains how and why our ancestors pursued this enduring hobby. Though the read can be a bit academic and the images are black and white, you’ll enjoy this look into an old-fashioned hobby — doubly so if you’re lucky enough to have your ancestor’s scrapbook.

Pixel Pointer

Don’t save your “master” copies of digitized photos as JPGs: Every time you open a JPG in your photo editing software, then alter it and resave it as a JPG the pixels are compressed and the image is slightly damaged. After several saves, your image will begin to look pixelated and blurry. Instead, save the image as a TIFF-the file size will be bigger, but the image will retain its clarity.

Chipping Away

Decorate these big chipboard letters from Hero Arts, then use them for initials on heriage-themed scrapbook pages and cards. They come in packages of three for $3.50; each letter pops out of its frame, leaving you with two embellishments. (800) 822-4375, <heroarts.com>

 
From the May 2007 issue of Family Tree Magazine.
 

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