Copying photos on a phone will never be the best option. I'd suggest using a flatbed scanner - the sort that is A4 sized, usually very thin, easy to use (I would say that) but they just plug in via USB cable and usually find their own software. Cheap ones about £30 - £50. If you copy using a camera you have to (a) get close to fill the frame, (b) make sure it's parallel and (c) the trickiest bit, get the lighting even, with no reflections or weird colour casts (daylight is neutral, everything else will look yellow or green). A scanner has its own light so it sorts all these problems. Try to make the highest resolution scans you can eg 600ppi (pixels per inch), you can always get extra storage. You can rename the files with who is in them, and/or put them in folders with descriptions. You could add a Word doc to the folder with longer descriptions and thoughts - I'd love to have had such treasure from my mum about her and my family's youth.
I keep everything, multiple copies, including my negs and contact sheets on ring binders filed on some twelve feet of shelving. But it's my job, and my archives are the most valuable part of my work as no-one wants to pay for photography any more but they do have to pay me for old stuff. I have four copies of everything on hard drives - two in the PC, one on an external drive, and one in the shed in case the burglars get the rest or the house burns down. Storage is now cheap, fat memory sticks cost a few pounds but they can break down (or get stepped on) so use more than one.
Archives are precious. Some just to immediate family, some more than that. Like many of my peers we're trying to sort stuff out and declutter, and finding museums that will look after our work is an ongoing task. They want not just scans, but original prints, somehow they will find room. Right now I'm being loomed at by sixteen of those removal boxes holding all my b/w prints, returned to me when my agency had digitised them all. Most of them are no longer valuable as they are obscure meetings etc but I still have the negs anyway. Some are precious. Unfortunately they are totally jumbled so soon I will begin the job of sorting and chucking and relabelling and scanning, once I can make horizontal space to do so.
Then we come to the books....
netgran Sat 22-Jul-17 12:05:24
Pamish Sun 23-Jul-17 14:04:15
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