Monday, December 28, 2015

New Year Project

     As usual, I have a number of resolutions lined up for the new year and I've actually gotten a head start on one, the organization of my ancestor photographs.  It's all well and good to digitize photos and store them on your computer, or even better in the cloud; in fact it's an excellent idea.  But what happens when I want to show my father, or another older relative these images?  I can't very well drag my desktop over to their place, and they have difficulty viewing them on my so called "smart" phone, (no, I haven't forgiven it for erasing my blog pics yet).  Pictured above is my solution!

     I've decided the ideal vehicle in which to display antique photos is an antique photo album.  However, after visiting several antique shops I discovered these albums are pretty pricey.  Especially if they are in any kind of decent condition, $75 and up in my locale, which was a bit more than I envisioned spending.  I then turned to Ebay and for a paltry $20 (plus $12 for shipping), this beautiful album was mine.  It's latch is bronze, and bears a patent date of 1882.  The cover is of a lovely emerald green velvet, very appropriate for housing pictures of my Irish ancestors.

     The insides are in great shape too, in fact it looks barely used.  The pages are illustrated with quite beautiful graphics of flowers, and sparrow like birds which appear to be peering down at the openings where photos will soon reside.  As appealing as these pages are, sadly they are not acid free.  The process to manufacture acid free paper was not invented until the 1950's.  I'm not about to place my old family photos in an acidic environment so I came up with what I think is a workable compromise.  

     The plan is to begin scanning the photos I wish to include in the album in high resolution, then to upload the file to a photo printing service like Shutterfly or Walgreen's.  I will also need a frame of some sort.  If you look at old cabinet cards they are usually on a piece of chipboard, often with the photographer's name across the bottom.  In other words, the image doesn't fill the entire opening on the album page.  Since I want this project to look as authentic as possible, a frame is imperative.  And I think I've found the method I'm going to use.  The website allows uploaded photos to be framed, cropped, and otherwise edited, and it's free!

     After the completion of this project, I'm tackling (again) the writing of a short bio for each of my ancestors along with a list of the sources I used...really I am.