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a blog by Chris Barrow

Memory capture

I've been sorting my way through a collection of family photos that go back 100 years.

Early photos of both sets of my grandparents from the 1920's.

My father's career in the Royal Navy (1950's) and the Police (1970's).

Assorted family gatherings, day trips, party nights, weddings and holidays (1940's to 1970's).

My own children as babies and school kids (1980's to 1990's).

Until now, they have all been jumbled together in a very old Samsonite briefcase, along with some documents - wedding certificates, burial certificates, a 1950's ration book and driving licence in an old wallet, telegrams that my Dad sent home from the Persian Gulf (when my Mum was 21 and when I was born).

I've sorted them into groups by chronology and family line, stored them in airtight containers and now have a future significant task of transferring them into albums and adding notes for future generations.

I haven't counted but suspect there are in the region of 200-300 photos.

The lives of four generations, recorded over a century.

I just checked my Photos app on my Mac.

As of this morning, 24,309 photos and 993 videos.

I wonder what will happen to them?

In the modern age, photography and videography have become so easy and such a part of our daily lives, that we give little thought to creating archives to not just record the minutiae of our daily existence, but also the special moments.

In 100 years from now, will my descendants be able to see what I did?

If so, how?

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I'm sure there are online services where you upload your faves and they turn them into a lovely book for you. I do wonder about this too, but then we all share all our photos into a family Whatsapp group nowadays. Nicer to have a book though, for future generations to look through with their kids.

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