Sunday, July 20, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel?

A good deal of my time so far this summer has been consumed with scanning pictures and preparing pictures for scanning. On June 2nd I reported that another 970 pictures had been scanned since mid-May, plus the 575 pictures of mom's that had been scanned in April.

For the heck of it, I decided to keep track of how much time was spent in scanning. In hindsight I probably should have tracked how much time was spent in preparing the pictures for scanning as well. Once I started on the magnetic albums, it's highly likely that as much time was spent in prep as in actual scanning.

The prep work consisted of removing the pictures from the albums, sorting them into the order in which they were to be scanned, then attaching them to archival paper. After fiddling with trying to put multiple pictures on the scanner bed and getting irritated with them moving when the cover was lowered (due to static), I decided to put the pictures on the pages where I wanted them, add captions as needed, then individually scan the pictures along with their corresponding captions. Too bad I didn't think of that when I was scanning mom's first album. Something to keep in mind for the next one!

Out of the past 48 days, scanning was done on 21 of them, usually 2-3 hours a day but occasionally 4 hours. One day I was on a roll and spent 6 hours scanning! I'm not totally crazy, it wasn't all at one sitting. I did get up a few times to stretch my legs and grab a bite to eat. And yes, I washed my hands after eating and before handling the pictures! Anyway, a total of 70 hours of scanning in 21 days netted another 2278 images. That's an average of 3.3 hours and 108.5 images per day.

That takes care of my personal albums. There are still a few more of Mom's to do. Next up will be the genealogy documents. But, they too need to be sorted prior to scanning. I've mentioned before that with my filing system I put documents of the same type together, regardless of who they are for, whether an ancestor or other relative, giving each document a number. I could find them easily because of the numbering system and the fact that when something was entered in my database the document number was entered for reference, so all I needed to do was look up the person in the database to see where the document was filed. But that system isn't really intuitive and I need to make it easier for whomever will take over my research (assuming there is a family member who wants it or in case it gets donated to a library or society). So that means sorting and putting the documents together for a given person or family. I haven't decided yet whether I'll scan "everything" or just the ancestral documents. "Everything" includes a lot. I think, after I've sorted through stuff I'll do the ancestors first and save the rest for another time. I want to get back to researching! And doing other things. But at the least, I want to get the ancestor documents scanned.

There may not yet be light at the end of the tunnel, but it will be there one day. Soon, I hope.

The picture below was taken in September 1978 while I was stationed in Japan. Above the Clouds. Sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji. There is a story to tell that goes along with the picture, but it'll have to wait for another time.

Photo Copyright © 1978/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman


Tim said...


You are my sound so organized and you are making so much progress on your scanning. I need to scan photos and my documents too, but it all just seem so overwhelming I keep putting it off.

After reading your all of your sorting and scanning posts I feel motivated to do the same...we'll see what happens when I actually sit down to do it.


Jasia said...

You are most definitely The Queen of scanning, Becky! Good for you!!!

Like Tim, I too am inspired by you. I expect I'll be doing some serious scanning this week myself as this is the week I plan to go through all the printed items related to my LIPA family. I'm sure I'll come across a good bit of stuff that needs scanning although I have been scanning most of my documents as I got them.

Did you devise a method to deal with the tedium of scanning? Rockin' music? Simultaneous online chats? Humming for all you're worth? LOL!

Becky said...

Wow, thanks Tim. I've never had anyone say I was their idol. If I was truly an organized person, all this scanning would have been done years ago! Ah well, it was (and still is, actually) a bit overwhelming. There is so much that should be scanned and I finally decided that I really just need to do it.

But scanning is only a part of the task. All those image files will have to be edited to add captions and people info. If you stop to think of what all has to be done with a project like this you have a tendency to not even start! But doing it one step at a time makes it manageable. I'm sure that if I can do it, you can too!

Jasia, scanning is tedious no matter what. It does help to have music playing, but television was a distraction. My ability to do two things at the same time is limited. LOL. I did occasionally space out and forget whether I had scanned a photo right after it had been scanned! Good luck on your book projects.