Ok, so I’ve unpacked my box. It was jam-packed full of treasures that will take me months to sort through. I’m excited. So what to do first? Honestly, I have no idea…but here is what my preliminary plan is.
Step 1: Sort into types of items
Largely, there are photographs here. Some of them, I know I already have digital copies of from a time back when I was allowed to scan them, but not keep them (before the downsizing). There are also newspaper clippings as well as full newspapers. I will need to figure out why that newspaper was kept and perhaps clip out the important part (keeping the title, date, page, column for the citation, of course). There are large family reunion photo prints that have been rolled up. There are envelopes with who knows what inside. So sorting is my current project.
Step 2: Decide how to preserve each type of item
I could scan, photograph, frame, clip, store in archival boxes, and so on. Each item is going to have a different solution. Determining that solution will be next and I’ll tackle each item separately. For example, I probably don’t need to keep the actual newspaper or clipping if I get a good scan of them. Newsprint is terribly acidic and doesn’t hold up well over time. But if I make a scan and print on archival paper, it might last longer. Making each of these determinations is going to vary.
Step 3: Do the task set forth in step 2 for each item
This step could take months. The process of scanning and putting the item into whatever the final form will be is going to be lengthy. And I think one I can hire my teenaged daughter to help with since she’s home right now.
Step 4: Catalog each item
Putting the information into my family tree software, the digital image stored in my digital filing system, and a copy stored in my binder system will likely come at the end. And this is going to be the fun part! My initial thought is that my daughter can scan the item and name them in a pre-determined format then put them in a dropbox folder we share. Then one-by-one I can go through them and put them in their appropriate places. It is during this step that I will also craft the citations for each item.
Up next…getting into the sorting. I hope my daughter is ready!