Our Mission

Our mission is simple — to help you capture, preserve, organize and enjoy your family's most valuable memories using archival best practices, methodologies equipment and supplies, employed by FA Logo professional archivists and museum experts from around the world.


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Digital Copies of Physical Items

Digital pictures outlast mementos when
recorded on DVDs and stored properly

For delicate items in your family archive or items you wish to review and handle regularly, digital copies can give you the access you need while protecting the physical objects themselves. Digital copies also give you the ability to zoom in for a level of magnification that handling the actual object does not allow.

Digital copies can also help preserve damaged or deteriorating items for the future.

Scanning Your Materials
If you own a scanner, you may already have a working knowledge of how to use the scanning software and hardware. But if you don't own a scanner and are planning to buy one, most scanning software and hardware is easy to use and comes with simple to follow directions.

Common items that can be scanned:

  • Color photographs

  • Black and white photographs

  • Letters/correspondence and other documents

  • Important documents (e.g. marriage licenses, military records, naturalization papers)

  • Advertisements

  • Slides

  • Photo negatives

If you're working with slides and negatives, you may need a special attachment for your scanner. Most scanners for home use have a slide/negative attachment, or this function is part of the product.

When making scans, consider the end use. Is it for reprints? Reference? Posting on a web site? These questions will help narrow your decision regarding what resolution you will use to scan your materials. (See What to Keep for more information about image resolution.)

Some experts believe that scanning in color — regardless of whether the original is color or black and white — captures more detail and depth. So if your original is black and white, scan your image in color. You can save copies in black and white or grayscale if you prefer, but the original should be in color.

Basic scanning tips:

  • Make sure the scanning bed is clean and free of smudges and dust.

  • Select a resolution that works for your project (72 or 96 dpi is typical for images posted to the web, but archival copies should be at least 300 dpi at full size)

  • Scan the image at 100% of its actual size or at least at five inches on the shortest side.

  • Save your image as a TIFF file to capture the most detail.

  • Double-check your settings — size and dpi — before each scan.

Following these easy tips and guidelines will help you create and generate digital files that will meet professional standards and become a great addition to your family archive.

Photographing Your Materials
Objects that can't be scanned — extremely fragile photos and documents as well as three-dimensional objects — can be digitized by digital photography.

Typical items that can be photographed:

  • Clothing (e.g. wedding dress)

  • Collectibles

  • Jewelry and other keepsakes

  • Tools

  • Personal items (e.g. eye glasses, musical instruments)

  • Furniture

  • Books

  • Paintings, posters, prints, drawings

  • Anything of value (sentimental, monetary or otherwise).

NOTE: In the case of an emergency, disaster or theft, use these photographs for insurance purposes.

Photographing mementos and other objects doesn't need to be a complex task. Economize your time by gathering together all the items in one place and setting up a mini photo studio. For example, use your dining room as your studio. Cover your dining room table with a neutral sheet to create a workspace and a nice background for your photos.

Tips for photographing materials:

  • Use a tripod to steady your camera (if you don't have one, see if you can borrow one from a friend or rent one)

  • Work on an even surface

  • Use a neutral background or backdrop

  • Include a ruler or a common item to show size and scale

  • Set up your camera to capture medium to high-resolution images

  • Shoot the fronts and backs of materials, as well as different angles

  • Take photos with and without the flash to see what yields the best image

  • Make sure you use artificial lighting in the room for filler lighting as well as on the object to minimize harshness, contrast or glare from a flash or natural light

Once your photography is complete, download your photos to your computer — or upload them to your favorite web site — and begin the process of reviewing, sorting, labeling and filing them.

Helpful Hint: Treat your photos and scans as you would any other digital asset that you are organizing for your archive by recording information about the images condition, size, location, history and any other relevant information, and making sure you have safely preserved backup copies.