Hidden Treasures: Scanning, Sharing, and Archiving

January 13, 2017 / no comments

Recently, while cleaning out a closet in my parents’ basement, my sisters and I discovered a treasure trove of family history. Stuffed into folders and boxes were photos and documents and mementos that told the story of my family over the past 75 years. From amazing drawings my dad made as a boy, to letters sent by the federal government to my grandparents stating their intention to build an interstate through the best acres of the family farm, to my dad’s draft papers, to the program from a 1983 Seahawks–49ers game that my sisters danced at as part of the halftime show . . . all of these events—recorded in souvenirs and certificates and scraps of torn and yellowing paper, tell the story of where we came from, who we were, and how we became who we are today.

As we looked through those boxes, marveling at each new find, one thought continually resurfaced in my mind: “I need to get this to the Legacy Books office and have everything scanned so that it’s preserved.” I realized that scanning those items would preserve them for future generations, and also make it possible to share them with members of the family who don’t live nearby. My sister in Texas could see my father’s artwork in full detail, and cousins in California and New York could read a speech our grandmother gave to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in 1980 and see pictures of our fathers as boys with our great-great-grandfather. We had discovered the type of treasure that increases in value as the wealth is shared, and I couldn’t wait to pass it along.

This is why I’m so glad to be a part of the Legacy Books team: I help our clients discover, preserve, and share the pieces of their own histories—both large and small—that mean so much to them. It is a joy to make those heirlooms and mementos accessible to everyone in these families; to assist them in telling the story of who they are through the ephemera and photos that have been maintained and passed down, generation to generation; and to ensure that those items are recorded and archived with the highest professional standards so that future generations can continue to enjoy them. 

We recently finished such a project for the McCullough family in Tennessee, turning their loose collection of photos and memorabilia into a beautiful book that they shared with family for the holidays. Their comments illustrate why Legacy Books finds great happiness in the work that we do: “Words cannot express the gratitude of my family for your diligence and expertise in helping us put our ancestry heritage into a book that will be treasured for generations. Legacy Books was so easy to work with that you felt like family. It was so sweet to see my 90-year-old mother with dementia touch a picture and say: ‘That is mama and papa’ and smile. My brother and sisters were grateful and said they would enjoy it over and over again. There were many pictures they had never seen before. Time passes so quickly and Legacy Books has helped us remember how fortunate we are to enjoy the blessings of today because of those who have gone before us. Our memories are worth more than money can buy. Legacy Books helped us preserve those memories. It has been a joy to work with you and I will always be grateful.”

No matter how large, small, organized, or disorganized your archive of family history is we would love to help you preserve it and tell your story—the story of your family. We know that each family is unique, and that each memory is an integral part of the whole. With our services that range from simply scanning and archiving, to interviewing and writing, to designing a book that will remain in your family for generations, we specialize in going from “boxes to books,” and it is our mission to help you preserve your legacy, and share it into the future.

–Dax Bambrough