Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What I Scanned Today

The past few months, I've taken on a client project that involves several different steps, one of which is a scanning project to digitize a family's genealogy collection. It's not rocket science, but it needs to be done in order to complete the entire project.

Once a week, I trek 60 minutes through commuter traffic to go "on-site" to where the documents and photographs are. Scanning and labeling are very, very unexciting. However, the documents and photos are interesting. They tell the history of a family I've come to know through these weekly visits.

Today I scanned some photos from Galveston in 1950. Many were of a bungalow complex across from the seawall. The name escapes me, but I know the place is long gone because one of the photos showed the little houses up on blocks, getting ready to be taken away. Probably to put a new motel or something in its place.

1950 Galveston looked like a neat place. No touristy sprawl as there is today. Some of the photos in the set were of visiting family members, some of the Gulf, and one of grandma standing next to a beached dead dolphin. Good times.

There were some leather postcards postmarked 1909 in another book. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a leather postcard. They were natural leather colored, with some darker stamped images on them. On the other side was a place for an address and a stamp. The address in 1909 was FirstName LastName, Billings, Montana. That's all it took. The handwritten ink on the leather is well preserved and the postcards have done well over time. Leather postcards, go figure.

I also scanned letters members of this family wrote to each other from 1912-1972. They were all spread out over several states, and this was how they stayed connected. Lots of discussion of day-to-day activities, descriptions of Christmas presents and more. It made for interesting reading. It doesn't matter that they weren't my family. Everyone has a story, and I'm getting paid to preserve these.

I am a lucky girl.


  1. Yes you are a lucky girl. And I can relate to the uninteresting scanning too. It's always worthwhile when the story behind it is so interesting.

  2. Lucky indeed. I love seeing things like that.

  3. You did a great job, Amy. Hope you continue to scan pictures of your family history, and search for ours too. What scanner did you use and how portable was that for you?

    Ruby Badcoe

  4. Ruby, the scanner is a flatbed Epson that was provided for me. I'm not sure of the model. It is easy to use, but slow. That could also be the computer system that is slow. Something *is* slow so I bring headphones and listen to podcasts to pass the time.