Today's Bergen Record reports on another sad effect of post-Hurricane Sandy - the loss of treasured personal mementos, especially photographs. Two women, Shannon Pryor and Holly Sprick, have a Facebook page called "Hurricane Sandy's Lost Treasures." Here, people can look through the postings of lost & found items, and hopefully, reclaim their unique items.
Back in November, The New York TImes also described the sense of loss with the past describing storm victims picking through the wreck of their homes. Judith Dupre, author of "Monuments: America's History in Art and Memory", aptly describes family photos as, "Each one of these photos contains a story - they're like a key that opens the door to a life."
Both news articles stress the advantages of the current digital era, the ability to store photos on-line in social media sites as well as in the cloud. Typically, this applies to photos taken digitally. Such photos never see the light of day in print form, thus escaping the ravages of storms and other unfortunate disasters.
The lessons learned are: Do not wait to archive your family history. The next "storm" could be leaky plumbing, spilled drinks, sticky fingers and toddlers with markers!
So, how does one ensure the safety of your printed photos? As we all know, those can be posted on-line, but they still must be properly scanned and posted. And what about caring for the original photos, and birth certificates, and marriage licenses, and letters, and report cards...?
Next, I'll be posting about the collecting, sorting and editing of these ephemeral possessions. Yes, I said editing. Not everything must be saved for eternity!