Digitize Family Books and Heirlooms
1/9/2013
It’s easy to recreate and share a family heirloom diary, album or series of letters—while keeping the original safe and sound.
Nothing says more about our ancestors than their own words. Whether it’s a daily diary, memento-filled scrapbook or series of eloquent letters home, the written word can breathe life into the past. But such writings are hard to share. A book’s cover may come loose from handling. Pages might be torn, and mementos affixed to them go missing. And of course, there’s the possibility a treasure could become lost altogether as it’s passed around. 
 
That might explain why you hovered a bit too much when you displayed Great-grandma’s scrapbook at the last family gathering. If you got on everyone’s nerves with your admonitions to “Be careful!” and your gasps when cousin Debbie’s sticky-fingered toddler ventured near, rest assured: There’s a better way.
 
Modern technology makes sharing family treasures such as diaries, letters and scrapbooks easy and safe. Creating a reproduction of the original heirloom means every family member—no matter how grubby his or her paws—can hold, own or view it on a computer. Best of all, you’ll have what archivists call a preservation copy in case something happens to your original. Just follow these steps.