This is my great-great-grandfather holding my grandmother as a baby. This man was instrumental in documenting a lot of family history on his side, and was probably the cause of my grandmother holding onto a lot of records. This is not my scan, but it’s the only version I have of this, I think.

So, an ongoing project of mine—one that I haven’t gotten to devote nearly enough time to over the years—is digitizing my family history items.

I’ve been the caretaker for so many records, photos, letters, and memorabilia that it’s taken over a corner of our bedroom (these are not the sorts of things you keep in the garage—some of them are over 200 years old). I’ve scanned some photos, transcribed some letters (so many letters from my great-grandfather Arthur), and put information into Ancestry. But there are so, so, so many more things to go.

Even though looking at scanned originals isn’t quite the same, nor as satisfying, as looking at the original, they’re passable versions.

However, what about more object-y objects? Rings, jewelry, pocket watches, clothing, pins, fans, shoes? I have so many things from the last few generations, and random other items from those even more distant. I can take a lot of photos, and even some short videos, but that is unlikely to quite capture the item very well.

I guess it’ll have to do, as I don’t have a transporter pattern buffer to store things in.

Note: I’m digitizing things for a couple of reasons. 1. In case something happens to the originals. 2. To make it easier to share the information with those who seek it. I still hope someone in the next generation, or perhaps the one after that, will be interested in being the caretaker after me. I’d hate for anyone to just toss these things out.

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