January 17, 2018
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Shoeboxes in the Closet & Boxes Under the Bed: How to Save Old Family Photographs

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Scan Your Photographs Day at the Southwest Harbor Public Library – Saturday, July 26, 2014 – 10am to 1pm.

Bring 1 to 5 old photographs to the library at 338 Main Street, Southwest Harbor to have them scanned that day. Go home with digital copies for you and all your family. The library will provide free scanning, scanning advice and techniques to help you to save and share your family history. Bring your own USB computer storage key or buy one at the library for a small fee. Take home your photographs, digital copies of them and a printed handout explaining simple scanning methods so that you can scan at home. And come back on the next Photograph Scanning Day with more photographs.

Most people have a shoebox in the closet or a box under the bed of old family photographs. They also have the uncomfortable feeling that They Should Do Something About Those Photographs. And then, of course, there is the problem that several members of the family want the same photograph. Or there may be a scratch or tear right across Aunt Susie’s face on the only picture of Aunt Susie.

The Southwest Harbor Public Library had the same boxes and the same uncomfortable feeling about their photographs. The difference is that the library has more than one or two boxes of old photographs. They have about 10,000 pictures. Six years ago archivists at the library began opening up the boxes and facing the problem. They learned how to scan, how to handle the photographs, how to keep track of them. They learned how to digitally clean copies of them, take out the tears and wrinkles and preserve 10,000 pieces of local history. They have not finished yet, but they have done about 7,500 so far.

One Saturday morning is not enough time for the library to help everyone solve all their photographic problems nor to actually clean and repair copies It is enough time to make a start and a plan to continue.