Thursday, April 29, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #17

Get out your family photos and label them. You’ve seen them a million tines because they’re YOUR photos, but what happens when they’re passed down to others? Will those people know the names of everyone in the pictures? Take some time and label your photos with pertinent information. If you’re working with old photos, take consideration with their age and condition. Devise an archival-friendly labeling system. For digital photos, you can use computer programs to tag the images with names or other identifying information. If that’s too confusing, you can at least save and/or re-name digital photos with details of your choosing. Don’t let another generation slip by without documenting your photos. Your ancestors will thank you.

Yet another week has gone by and another challenge from We Tree is underway.

From my first digital camera forward, say around 2002, I'm pretty happy with the state of my photos. As I downloaded photos, they were saved to a folder named for the event or place and dated. Not 100% of those photos have names associated with them, but I would say that 75% do.

Pre-digital camera days I can't claim I've done a very good job in the labeling category. Most packets that the photos are in, do have the event or place and date listed, but few photos have names actually on the photos. I have four copy paper sized boxes full of photo packets. The odds of me going through and labeling all of those is slim to none! Having said that, I do have photos from that time period that are in frames or scrapbooks and they are properly labeled.

As for the "old" photos, I had one box and two photo albums in my possession. Last fall I scanned in all of the photos, over 400 in all! I started by saving the scans into folders based on which family I thought they belonged to. A few of the photos had names, but most did not. I was able to recognize some in the photos and identify that way. For the most part, as far as the old photos go, less than 50% are labeled.

I've read about face recognition software for photographs. Maybe one day, this software will be common with all photo software and all photos will be identified automatically!

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