In every family there are things of great value, but cannot be bought with money. For example, your heritage, your lineage, your name, and your old photographs. I remembered a box I keep stored in my daughter’s closest that I had ‘rescued’ from the basement some years ago. I had been through it, sorted it, and because of other things that were going on at the time I shelved it. I went and pulled it down today looking for one thing in particular: my grandmother’s photograph book. What I found is a lot that I had forgotten about. When I did finally find her book (it’s a very big box), I could help but enjoy the smell of old paper. Libraries and archives or anywhere that very old books are kept have that smell. I flipped through the black construction-paper quality pages with it’s silver ink spelling who is who underneath some of the pictures. It bought back memories of the first time I found it.
What I got into next though, was something I had completely forgotten about. It is a large almost 12′ x 13′ book that is more of a scrapbook. Inside are pictures of various people my grandmother went to high school and college with. She also had programs, news pieces, and other school activity memorabilia glued to the pages. Yes, they are glued to the pages. What I found to be most intriguing as I turned the pages one by one is the fact that she wrote special memories about each of the people or the event beside or on everything in the book. I only knew my grandmother for the first twenty years of my life and during those years I was no different than most other children. I called her ‘granny’ and left it at that. I just accepted her for how I knew her, but not who she was. It’s been more than ten years since she has died and I go through the things that were hers, the early years of her life begin to take shape before me. I must now scan everything and record it all chronologically if possible.
I’ll make a digital copy of the album, like I would per the digital archiving services. What I’m left considering is whether or not I should transfer all of the pictures into a new book since this one is barely holding together at all and just store what’s left in a solid, airtight container.
Anyone that knows me has heard this many times before, but I couldn’t imagine anyone simply getting rid of pictures of their grandparents or earlier. The excuse “”I don’t know who that is”” really doesn’t hold weight with me, and it shouldn’t for anyone else either! Things like this are priceless to own.