Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What I Scanned

It's been a while since I posted an update of my scanning project. For the newcomers since then, I'm managing a large family history project for someone. It includes a scanning component. Once a week, I scan someone else's family archives. The findings are often so interesting, that I share my observations here. I do all this in a general sense, of course. Confidentiality, and all that.

Much of what I scanned lately has been about living people, so you see how hard it is to generalize that. Many of the items are very exciting and I wish I could share them. Even though this isn't my family, I'm still fascinated by what others accomplish in their lives.

Lately I've been scanning business items. These ancestors had an entrepreneurial spirit that was passed down the generations.

Scanned items include business photos. My favorite is an ancestor in his 1900-era store. He was an immigrant and very proud of his accomplishment. He stood tall in the photo among his inventory. I spent a couple minutes just looking at the items in the store, the signs, the displays, before I put the photo back and scanned some more.

Other photos of other businesses had past employees posing around the products they created. Also in the file were early literature and business stationery.

There were also some documents that reflected the financial side of family businesses. It takes money, risk and a whole lot of faith. How scary it must have been to wager one's savings and hard work for a gamble on success. In scanning the business documents of another family, I thought of my own ancestors and living family members who have done the same.

Business history is part of family history. Do not ignore it. In fact, go forth and explore it.


  1. So pleased to see the return of this series. Thanks, Amy

    1. Thanks, Jill. I'm afraid it's almost over. :(

      Three file cabinets' worth of items are almost completely scanned.

      Luckily, I was asked to transcribe some letters that I'd previously scanned. Hopefully I can make a blog series about that, too.

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  3. Sometimes a business is part of an inheritance that is passed down. I'm sure these photos were precious artifacts.

  4. Could you tell us “How you scanned?” What I mean is, at what dpi did you scanned and what did you scan? Did you scan photos at one dpi and documents at another dpi?