The Value and Importance of Keeping a Family Photograph Album
My Family Album For 2011
The Importance Of A Family Photograph Album
In this age of digital photography it seems to me that people don't place too much importance on keeping a Family Photograph Album anymore. I think this is a big mistake. Our family is very dear to us. The years go by so fast, and we find ourselves thinking of past events in our lives. We have fond memories and some memories that bring sadness. I believe we should have something tangible that we can hold in our hands, feel, and remember those events.
Keeping an album requires some time and effort, but I believe it is well worth that investment.
It is for those reasons that I have kept a photograph album for the past 54 years. I have an album for each year beginning in 1958 when I met and began dating my future husband and the father of our four children. I must have known I would marry this man because I never kept any souvenirs of dates with other young men at the time. I just knew this man was the one I would spend my life with. I kept mementos of our dates: ticket stubs of shows, dances we attended, and restaurant menus.
Our Engagement Dinner Menu 1958
Our Engagement Dinner Menu At Remond's Cafe
Remond’s Café, 1789 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, Ga. Dated April 18, 1958:
Can you believe these prices? A New York Sirloin Strip Stead for $5.50!
½ Pheasant Sauté Aux Champignons 3.75
· Medallion of Veal Sauté Masala 2.75
· Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus 3.50
· Broiled Stuffed Flounder 3.50
· Shish Kebab A La Torque with Rice 3.75
· Small Tenderloin Steak 3.50
· Boneless Stuffed Cornish Hen 3.75
· Roast Long Island Duck A L’orange 3.75
· Broiled Strip Sirloin (N.Y. Cut) 5.50
· Baked Oysters 3.50
· Broiled Florida Lobster in Butter Sauce 3.00
Dinners all came with Salad, choice of potato, Green Beans or Lima Beans, and Bread
Don't Get Too Fancy With The Cover Of Your Family Album
Creating a Family Album is not like scrapbooking. These books should be made to withstand years of handling, so they have to made "tough", not delicate.
Don't go crazy with the cover for your album. I made the mistake a couple of years of covering my albums with padded fancy covers with some lace and ribbon. They were very pretty to begin with, but after a short time, they became dusty and dirty. It's better to just leave the covers as they are.
Remember, you are creating a Family Album that should last for years. So keep that in mind. You want a cover that you can dust off with just a damp cloth.
I Have A Family Album For Each Year
I write the year of each album on each one. I have an album for each year since 1958. These are placed on a standing shelf. The shelf I started out with is full now, and I have to place the extra albums on another shelf. If we get hurricane warnings, and we have had some bad storms in the past, the albums are placed inside a plastic garbage bag and they are taken up stairs in case the lower floor is flooded. These albums must be protected at all costs. If my house should ever catch fire, I will try to get the family albums out first (after the people are out, of course).
The Filled Shelf With My Family Albums
Another Shelf With My Family Albums
My albums are like a diary. When my family gets together at my house, they love to get an album down from the shelf and look through it. My four daughters will laugh while they compare their baby photos, their teen age years, and later in life as they are now. They like to look back at their hair and dress styles back then. When they were younger they loved to look back at their baby photos. The younger Grandchildren enjoy looking at the albums to see what their parents look like before they were born.
An Old Album
My First Family Albums Were Paper Scrapbooks
I have changed the way I keep my albums over the years. In the fifties, I used a paper scrapbook. The photos were black and white because there was no color film then, and I used those photo corners that were made for that purpose. Over the years these scrapbooks have yellowed, and the corners have come unglued. One of my projects is to try and salvage those precious pages. Before I redo the albums, I will scan the photographs into my computer for safe keeping.
As years went by I used a 3 ring notebook with magnetic pages to hold the photos, and I would write directly on the page to label the photo: who it was, the occasion, etc. I found out after several years the magnetic pages turned yellow, and the writing smeared on the page even though I used permanent marker on the page.
The Album I Now Use
Acid Free Magnetic Sheeets and Acid Free Sleeve Protectors
I Now Use A Three Ring Album
About eight years ago, I found some Albums that are three ringed. Each album has a printed table of contents in the front so you can easily find whatever you are searching for. They have pages that allow you to slip the photos inside the page. Each page holds six photos front and back. The photos can be as large as 4X6 inches. The pages are acid free which is important. I write directly on the photograph using a fine point permanent marker. I keep a lot of papers like report cards my children got over the years. These are usually 8X10 inches. Those I place in an acid free three hole sheet protector. I think that is a good idea because when I die, my children can just remove the photos of their family that they would like to keep.
I take photos of each and every family occasion. I load them on my computer, then I order prints from those. I have tried printing my photos, but it takes a lot of ink and they never are as good as when I order the prints to be made.
The Album I Now Use
The Album I Use
I Write The Year On Each Album
The Year 2011 Is Completed
The Mailbox Outside Our First Home 1959
My Mother Holding Our First Baby
Our First Baby Born In 1959
My Granddaughter's Graduation From College
The Birth Of My First Great Granddaughter
My Albums Are A History Of Our Family
My family album is a history of our family. We have a history In these albums where the records are there for all the joys and sorrows of our family; the vacations, the births, the marriages, and the deaths. If someone asks, “What year did we go to the trip out West?”, or “What year did we go to Costa Rica?”, or “When did we make that trip to Puerto Rico?”, we can find those photos quickly.
I will admit sometimes I get busy and get behind in my Albums. Ideally as soon as I receive the prints, I go directly to the album and place those photos inside. I try very hard not to get behind in my job of keeping thefamily album.
These albums are a very important part of my family’s heritage. I like to think that when I’m dead, my family will appreciate the time and effort I put into creating our family albums.
My hope is that all these Family Albums will be kept in my family for every member of my family to read and enjoy. I also hope someone in our family will carry on the tradition of keeping a Family Album.
If you have not started a Family Album to hold all the memories of your family, I'd suggest you work on one before all the children are grown and have children of their own. You will be glad you did this for your family, and they will be happy you did, too!
One last thought: Be sure and write the name of the person (or persons) in the photo, date it, and record the event on the back of the photo with a permanent fine point Sharpie. You think you will always remember who the people are in the photo, but I know for a fact, you won't remember.
Does Your Family Keep A Family Album?
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