Monday, June 6, 2011

How to Preserve your Precious Memories


Good memories are something that we cherish and want to hang onto into our golden years. There are many ways to ensure that your memories are close at hand and still fresh in your heart. Shown here is my original birth certificate from 1949. You may notice that the name is different. That’s because I was adopted when I was 8 years old and my name was changed. However, I will always have this document as proof of my true roots.

Remember days past when we stuffed photos in albums and then stacked those albums in a cupboard or under the coffee table? Some of them probably look pretty faded by now. I know I still have some pictures I took with a Brownie camera that are in pretty rough shape. With new technologies, those old photos can be restored. At one time, you needed a professional to do this for you. Not any more! As long as you have a computer, scanner and a graphics program, you can do it yourself. For full instructions on how to do this go Here. Once you have recreated your old photos, you can print them out, store them in a digital album on line or email them to family and friends.

The photo shown here is of my birth mother, whom I was separated from when I was 2 years old. She is holding one of my brothers. This photo was given to me by one of my sisters whom I met when I was 32. It is the only one I have of her and I treasure it dearly. I used free Photo Impressions software to scan and capture the photo. The photo was quite faded so I manipulated the color and sharpness to get the best copy I could.

Another way to store those memories is to burn them onto a CD. However, be aware that technology changes rapidly and no one knows just how long it will be before CDs are no longer useable. Remember all the video footage you took years ago? Now videocassettes are rapidly becoming passé. Even printing out restored photos does not guarantee they will be around for the next 100 years. The quality of the photo paper you buy is just not the same as that used in a photo lab. However, you can extend the life of your photos by keeping them in a dry, cool place away from sunlight. I have a large memory box in which I keep my most important pictures. Some people prefer to create a special scrapbook. For more information on scrapbooking go Here. You can also take your very best photos as I do and frame them. And if you’re really worried about preserving a few of your oldest photos, put them in a safety deposit box at the bank.

“Remember me in the family tree My name, my days, my strife;
Then I'll ride upon the wings of time And live an endless life."

Linda Goetsch

An interesting new site is The Family Post where family members can add their photos, create slideshows, share videos, and even create a family newsletter. The site also has a real-time message board where you can communicate with other family members.

Another way to preserve your memories is to write a biography or your memoirs in a journal to be kept for posterity. A new product available is the Memorygrabber, an ebook specifically designed to help you write your life story. However, you can also create your own ebook if you have a PDF maker that converts Microsoft Word files. Once complete, you can either print it out or burn it to a CD and take it to a printer for them to do it for you.

Preserving memories is a wonderful way to pass on a family’s history to future generations through pictures and the written word. It will also ensure that a part of you remains forever in the memory of your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and who knows how far into the future? Start preserving your memories today.


annaken said...

Hi Martha,

I enjoyed reading your blog today. Memories are so important to all of us.


Martha Jette, Editor/Author/WebMaster said...

Thanksk so much, Wilma.