Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Technique Tuesday: Using and Protecting Memorabilia

As I have posted about previously, I am in the midst of creating a heritage album for my dad’s 60th birthday.  I am well under way and feel pretty good about how it is going to turn out.

One of the challenges I have is the volume of pictures and memorabilia that need to be a part of the book.  I realize that we are very lucky to have this challenge, but it is hard to prioritize in order to get everything in just one book.

Here are a few of my solutions: 

  1. Get a digital scan of everything.
  2. Make extra copies of pictures that you know that you want to cut up.
  3. Use a good graphics program to take scanned images and make them into photographs that are useable.
  4. Be willing to print some things out on your printer at home so that they have a different texture than a traditional photograph.
  5. Purchase good scrapbook and heritage supplies, like clear pockets that can be opened, flaps for extra pictures and good quality paper and embellishments. (If you don’t know where to get this stuff, email me)

Now for the pictures of this in practice:

memorablia 002 Large e-mail view

On this page I have incorporated the original newspaper clipping as well as a couple of original prints.  The top print is very faded, but I have a scanned copy, so I decided that I would rather have the original here.  Then lower on the page I have 2 photographs from scanned original documents.  The white and blue print is of my grandfather’s birth certificate and the black print is his corrected birth certificate.  I really wanted to have these in the book, but the originals are full page size and I didn’t want to take up that much room.

memorablia 003 Large e-mail view

You can also use different size page protectors for variety in the book.  The western union telegram and letters are from WWII and I wanted them highlighted differently than the pages around them, so using a smaller page protector, broke up the page without changing the theme.

memorablia 004 Large e-mail view

Another technique is taking an item that would go in a shadowbox like my dad’s first pair of shoes and taking a picture and using them in the layout.  Also on this page are scanned pictures of the front and back of his birth certificate and letters that his father wrote him.

memorablia 006 Large e-mail view

And finally, for my grandmother’s page I wanted to include the lock of baby hair (from 1926) so I put it in the clear protective pocket.  Additionally, the blue print is a copy of her birth certificate.

One of the coolest things that is coming from doing this album is all of the writing samples I am getting.  By scanning in the legal documents, we are able to get full legal names,  the treasured photo album that has yellowed and is falling apart has become individual pictures complete with my grandfather’s journaling and the notes on the backs of the pictures are not lost but have become companions to the pictures.

Yes, scanning in the front and back of  a thousand pictures has been time consuming, but so worth it. We now have a big portion of our family history in a format that will last!  I can’t wait to show my dad the completed book!!


  1. This is just amazing. Your dad is going to be awed by this. He will appreciate the time you put in this.

  2. Wow you did a GREAT job! Those will be cherished forever I am sure. Thanks for the tips too! :0)