17 December 2013

Are You Scanning Pictures Over the Holidays?

The holiday season can be a great time to make scans of those photographs while visiting relatives. Remember that you can scan just about any piece of paper. I've been using my Flip-Pal to easily scan photographs and other family history items.

Do not neglect to indicate "how" you know who is in the picture and how they came to possess it (if known). Those are important details.

Photograph of Fred Ufkes and horse--taken near Basco, Hancock County, Illinois, 1910s. Original photograph in possession of Michael John Neill--identification made by unknown person on back of photograph. Face appears similar to other know pictures of Fred Ufkes and item was in other family photographs and materials in personal collection of John H. and Dorothy Ufkes--grandparents of Michael John Neill. Scan made August 2013 by Michael John Neill.

Here are some suggestions (repeated from an earlier post), if you've never used a  Flip-Pal  before.

After my first onsite Flip-Pal scanning experience, here are a few suggestions:
  • Have plenty of batteries. Have twice what you think you will need (and maybe more). 
  • Scan the backs of pictures if names are written on them. In one way it's faster than taking notes, gets information accurate and gives you time for something else.
  • Consider taking a scanning buddy with you. The scanner is not difficult to use or learn to use. My mother scanned the smaller pictures for me that did not need any stitching, upside down scanning, etc.and that could be scanned by simply laying the picture on the Flip-Pal and hitting scan. I scanned the larger items and the ones that required later stitching. This freed me up to discuss pictures and other ephemera with the relative whose pictures were being scanned. 
  • Practice more than you think you need to if you've never done "onsite scanning" before. Practice one more time than that if you don't have any idea if you will ever get back to the person's home again. 
  • Encourage the person to locate and review the pictures before you get there. This will get their mind "running" and give them extra time to remember and organize materials. If you have to do it "cold," that's the way to go, but if they've looked over things a few times they are liable to "remember more" when you actually are there for the actual scanning.
  • Back up your scans before you perform any stitching, cropping, etc. You want to make certain you actually have scans when you get home.
  • Offer to share what you have or send them scans that you make.