27 September 2012

One Family’s Personal Digital Archives Project

If you are like me ... as time has gone by, more and more of my new photographs and documents collected are in a digital format as my photo albums collect dust on the shelves!  Many years ago I did convert some old 8mm home movies taken by my dad into VHS.  Of course, that format has gone the way of the dinosaurs and so I now need to convert it to a digital format.  And, a few years ago, I took some old slides and got them digitized!  And, I have yet to fully “embrace” digitizing all that I have!

The Library of Congress has a blog post (in The Signal: Digital Preservation) that starts ...

In 1958, Vernon James was an adventurous young man from Colorado who landed a job teaching in Germany for the Department of Defense. During his 16-year stint there, he travelled extensively throughout Europe — including several visits behind the Iron Curtain into West Berlin — and he took lots and lots of photos.

Decades came and went and in 2005 Mr. James — who was retired by then — decided to scan his European slides along with the other slides and photos he had accumulated over the years ... 

Even after digitizing well over 20,000 items, Vernon and Stan James are far from finished. They say there is always more to digitize and there are more people and places to identify. Stan said, “The one thing that we’ve learn from this project is that it’s never done.”

He goes on to talk about how this was only the start of what he scanned! Read the full blog post.

Do you know of someone like Vernon (and his son Sam) who have made digitizing their personal archives a priority?

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