06 November 2013

Photo Organization Project: Part 2

 I have BOXES and BOXES of photos sitting in my dining room. I've been making my way through them one by one as part of a big photo organization project I started last week. My goal is to bring some order to these unsorted, largely unidentified photos so that I can eventually put a good portion of them in scrapbooks.
As I mentioned in my first post, I decided to do a ROUGH SORT based on a few broad categories. One of those categories was heritage photos.  I've spent the most time on this category because I'm the most concerned with these priceless photos.

After gathering them all up in one place, I was ready to do a more DETAILED SORT of the heritage photos to identify them by family and person if possible. This was a bit challenging because the photos were all mixed together -- my dad's relatives, my mom's mother's family, my mom's father's family, etc. When you're looking at older photos of people you don't know, they can all look very similar!

I set up some temporary folders for sorting, each one labeled by the types of photos in the boxes -- such as Mom, Dad, Mom and Dad's wedding, Mom and her sister growing up, Grandpa Weaver, Grandpa Weaver's parents/siblings, etc. Of course, I also set up a folder for UNIDENTIFIED photos. I have tons of them. The folders are just temporary; I'll move them to archival storage boxes once I'm done sorting.

There were basically two types of photos in the boxes I sorted: professional photos (some in heavy mats) and everyday snapshots. The professional photos are permanently adhered to their mats so I left them intact. Some had writing on the back of the mat which identified the subjects (YAY!). By carefully comparing them with other unidentified photos, I was able to figure out a few more mystery subjects. As I worked, I also sketched out a family tree to help me remember who was who. I know I have a more complete one somewhere in one of the many, many boxes I brought home, but this will do for now!

 After spending just a few hours on this project, I had sorted most of the heritage photos into folders and isolated the ones I can't identify. I will share those mystery photos with older family members in hopes that we can identify a few more. The bottom line: This part of the project wasn't nearly as difficult or painful as I had expected it to be. Progress!


Sarah Coggins said...

How wonderful! I remember thumbing through boxes of old photos at my grandparents' house as a child and asking my grandmother who was in this photo or that. Often she couldn't even remember. I started noting people, places & dates on every photo I could after that. So glad you are having luck finding some labels and identifying most. Sounds like you have a great system for working through them!

Janet said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sarah! Good for you for marking photos. I wish more of these were marked, but I'm hopeful I can figure them out!

Maureen said...

Wow, what a huge job! I haven't scrapbooked in years; mostly do cards now... I can't imagine how hard it would be to ID old photos!