A few months ago, my father came across some boxes of old papers and photographs that my grandfather (his father) had kept. My grandmother and my aunt came over to my parents’ house, and we all spent a few great hours going through the materials packed away in these boxes, with nothing younger than 50 years old contained in them.
With my burgeoning interest in genealogy thanks to my job, I offered to take the boxes and begin the process of digitizing them all. But I have procrastinated, fully aware of the immensity of the task at hand.
Until today. Today, I dove in. I barely made a dent, which is a bit disheartening, though not entirely unexpected.
I was able to scan about 100 images, taking care to get high-resolution images of the ones with faces in particular, and scanning the backs of any that had writing or other identifying marks on them.
Each of these photographs is amazing, and makes me want to know the people, the stories, behind them. And while I have a rather complete family tree (of this particular portion of my family at least), I am not sure I’ll ever be able to say with certainty which faces go with which names.
But that’s the great thing about this modern age of discovery. As I scan them, I am uploading them to Flickr, where who knows? Someone might recognize something or someone in one of these photos. Even if it doesn’t happen for years. There’s a chance. And I can continue to look for information on my own, and perhaps I will come across a distant relative who already has the dots connected.
So for now, I shall continue to digitize what I have on hand, and file them away a bit more safely than stacked in cardboard boxes. And I shall continue to imagine what the lives of the people pictured might have been like.