Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sorting Saturday: What do with documents of "non-family family?"

   I've spent the last few hours cleaning out documents and keep stumbling across photos of "non-family family" - those lovely people that you consider related but actually aren't. I've been struggling for a long time with how to store these photos and related documents.
     For now, I  use two methods. I have newer photos in scrapbooks. The conservator part of my brain hates doing that (scrapbook improperly can ruin photos for the long term), but they do display much better. And since I'm awful with organizing otherwise... I do try to store the older photos properly, but I'm fast running out of space.
    In the long run, I'm not sure how to keep them. Will I want them in 20 years? How do you handle this situation?

1 comment:

  1. Here's what I would do. First, scan the photos. Second, save the photos in a folder with the family relation they are connected with. For instance, I have a man named Samuel Barton who turns up in a Family Bible. Samuel isn't 'family'. However, he was such a good friend,that my great-grandmother named her son after him. So, when I write the story of my great uncle, I'd want to include photos of the person he received his name from.

    On the other hand, my grandmother had four friends that were her friends for life (from childhood to each's death). No story about my Grannie would be complete without these three ladies in it. So, again, I'd put those photos in the computer folder with my Grannie.

    As for the original, file them as best as you can. If you're really hoping to find a better home, you can see if you can find a researcher who is actively seeking the persons in your photos. You could post the photos on this blog and say, "If you want the original, I'd be happy to send it your way." Or, you could see if you can find relations on and mention you have the photos. Until that time, I'd store the originals in an archive safe box filed under non-familly family.

    Hope that helps.