What to do with old photographs?

Son Jester

New Member
Location
Indiana,
Hey all,
So we are moving in the spring and trying to declutter which includes old photographs. We have no kids and are conscious of the fact that one day most of our “stuff” will be of little interest to our existing relatives, so what do we do with our “holiday snaps” and other such momentous for that matter?
 

Aunt Marg

Granny Pantie Power!
What a shame it would be to let that sort of thing go before their time.

My vote is for you to hang onto them until such a time you can no longer maintain your lifestyle, and have to look at downsizing or moving into a care home.

I've always persevered when it comes to hanging onto certain things, and in the past it's paid off. So nice to be able to go through old photographs on a cold winter day or when the weather is the pits (rain, etc).
 

needshave

Member
Location
Ohio
At the very least, I would take a good quality digital picture of them and store them in the cloud. At lease a reference copy is available to ever whom you might like to give access. This works pretty well as I use it for storage of pictures I share with the family.
 

Aunt Bea

SF VIP
Location
Near Mount Pilot
When it comes to an accumulation of anything I've found that it is easiest for me to dispose of things in stages.

Go through the photographs and while you are enjoying the memories quickly sort them into the ones you need to keep and the ones that you are comfortable with letting go of.

In a few months or years go through the same exercise and continue to do it as your situation changes over the years.

Hopefully, you will be left with a few possessions that capture the spirit of your life and your adventures over the years.

Good luck!
 

AnnieA

Senior Member
Location
Down South
If you know of family interested in genealogy, let them know of the older photos you have. As far as vacation and holiday photos, pick a few of your favorites and scan them for the genealogists in your family.

Some people even create a Find A Grave entry while alive and include a few favorite photos. If you're not familiar with the site, it's a worldwide catalogue of grave sites that includes space for photos, obits or other memorials, a linking feature for other family members' memorials. Once someone's obituary is published, there's usually an entry created by a family genealogist or a local family historian. If you've created yours in advance, someone will edit it to include the date and place of death and burial when your obituary is published. Sounds a little morbid if you're not into genealogy, but it's extremely helpful to those who are.

https://www.findagrave.com/


,
 
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Geezerette

Senior Member
I understand the need to do that. My experience is that when I want to downsize or thin out papers, pictures, etc. is I need to do it a small group at a time, not try to tackle a big mess all at once. Too large at once and I end up feeling like I want to either keep or toss the whole mess.
 

Aneeda72

Well-known Member
I have found old stuff in shops, like photos, and on genealogy sights mention stuff and low and behold some distant researchers were dying for that stuff and I sent it to them. So, look up your family name on Ancestry and contact some researcher and offer to let them have the photos mailed to them upon your deaths.

Perhaps a 100 years from now someone in your line will treasure those photos. I have a postcard that was sent to a relative in, hmm, 1922 or so with a picture of my dad and his sister on it as babies.

The guy came across the postcard in a shop, put it up for sale on line, and I bought for 20 dollars. You just never know. I am thrilled with it and now have given it to my nephew. He will pass it to his girls, and they to their children.
 

DaveA

Senior Member
We have many old photos as we still live in the old home where my folks and grandparents lived. Sadly, many of the early photos are unmarked or dated leaving us (and our off-spring) in the dark. We have started writing names, dates, and places on the photos that we took and the older ones which we can identify.

As we do have a large and nearby family we have also started handing some of the photos off to those interested. I'd suggest offering them to relatives who might be interested, before tossing them.
 

ClassicRockr

Well-known Member
Ok, it's printer/scanner time, along with a large capacity USB (flash drive). I used the scanning part of our printer, scanned in all of our loose photos (old-to-very old-to new) and transferred onto USB's. We had three rather large plastic storage containers full of boxes of photos and now they are most on USB's. Still have a few photo albums, but only a few.

If going to do this, make sure you fill the scanner screen with photos..........with a small space between each.

As for all of the loose photos I scanned/USB, those photos were sent to my wife's sister and some to another relative. There were some photos that my wife wanted to get rid of, as pics of her first husband and her, pics of her second husband and her and pics of an old boyfriend and her.
 
I made my mom sit down with me a few years ago and go through the "mystery" box of really old pictures. Any picture she said "I don't know who that is" or "Oh, that's my Uncle George's second wife's two daughters from her first marriage" went directly into the trash.

That leaves me with only about 10,000 more pictures to figure out what to do with. Think I'm exaggerating? Not by much....
 

Ruth n Jersey

Well-known Member
A couple of years ago I went through all my old photos mainly because the albums were falling apart. Pieces of black paper everywhere. I was surprised at how many I was able to discard because of the subject matter. Who needs a picture of some poor old bear in a zoo dated 1929.
A lot of scenery of where, I had no idea.
I was surprised how doing this lightened the load.
Then I labeled the others and put in boxes according to date. I liked the albums better but these stack nicely.
My kids have no interest in them at this point. Maybe that will change,
In the mean time I will cherish what is left and will keep them until I die.
 

Aneeda72

Well-known Member
A couple of years ago I went through all my old photos mainly because the albums were falling apart. Pieces of black paper everywhere. I was surprised at how many I was able to discard because of the subject matter. Who needs a picture of some poor old bear in a zoo dated 1929.
A lot of scenery of where, I had no idea.
I was surprised how doing this lightened the load.
Then I labeled the others and put in boxes according to date. I liked the albums better but these stack nicely.
My kids have no interest in them at this point. Maybe that will change,
In the mean time I will cherish what is left and will keep them until I die.
My dad took pictures of water. The water upon the beach, the water on every dang lake we saw, water, water, water. Nothing in it, just water and waves. 😂. Tossed them all.
 

Rich29

New Member
Location
Aiken SC
When my parents passed away I inherited a large box of old pictures (some back to the 1920's). As a result of covid, I have lots of time go through them. I have been scanning a lot of them to my Apple computer. Apple allows me to create albums and label the pictures with names and dates. I have enlisted my cousins to verify some of the names. I plan to send them to Shutterfly or another provider to make photo albums for my kids. It's a little slow but nostalgic.
 

MickaC

Senior Member
Location
Manitoba, Canada
I'm afraid i'm the end of the line when it comes to photos.
Photos of grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles........no one for these to pass on to.
Have several pictures of some of the fosters kids we homed, they will go to them, for the ones we can find.
Photos from life in my first marriage, we went through them, each got some.......but the life for those pictures after will probably be death of the photos......nowhere for them to go to.
The photos of step kids will go back to them
Photos from life in my 2nd marriage......uhhhhhhh......go to step kids, will they want then. probably not.
There will be some that will just be burned.......bad memories.......ashes.
 
We have many old photos as we still live in the old home where my folks and grandparents lived. Sadly, many of the early photos are unmarked or dated leaving us (and our off-spring) in the dark
I hear you. I have a huge box of pictures to go through sometime to date and put names on....I've begun to give pics of cousins and other family to them when they visit. Wish I had taken better notes when my parents were still living... but I was so occupied with life and work then
 

DaveA

Senior Member
Lewkat mentioned nieces and nephews, and I would only add "close" cousins. When I was a child, we vacationed for many years at my uncle's farm in New Hampshire. Many pictures were taken which included some of my other aunts, uncles, and cousins.

I've already sent vacation photos to some of them, both original and copies. And as Ellen Marie said, wish I'd chatted about the photos with my folks when they were still with us.
 

ClassicRockr

Well-known Member
I've scanned many onto my computer and tossed those I knew would have no meaning to my son or nieces, nephews, etc.

Scanned into computer and then what? If kept on your computer, your computer performance will slow. That's why, from a previous post, I put all of them on USB's.
 

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