Slides, Trays of Slides, Boxes of Slides, Slide Projectors, Light Bulbs for Slide projectors…all of these things seem like items from a gone-by era. And truthfully they are. As a child I remember my grandparents bring out the slide projector and screen after a family vacation or at a family gathering and enduring hours (ok, I was 5 so it was probably more like 20 minutes) of click-click, picture-picture, blah-blah-blah. Now as an adult I would give anything to go back to those days and listen closely to my grandparents as they told stories of their slides which really were the stories of their lives. Now all my grandparents are gone but what I do have is their slides and other photos, the visual documentation of lives richly led.
Two years ago my aunt brought me two leather valises containing over 2,000 of my grandparent’s slides. Using my Epson Perfection V700 scanner, I spent many a happy hour scanning those slides and bringing the images back into the light again. After I finished I went through the pictures with my mom and aunt trying to identify people and places. Now they have copies of these treasured family mementoes as well. Does your family have boxes and trays of slides just sitting in the closet or the attic? It is really important that you have them scanning and digitized now and here is why.
Your slides are rapidly deteriorating
Slides are made of a transparent piece of film encased in a rigid paper square. If moisture gets into the boxes, the slides can develop mold or mildew on the film which will eventually eat right through it. Heat can loosen the glue on the paper sleeves so that the film just falls out. And please, whatever you do, however you store your slides and photos, do NOT keep them in the garage or attic or any other place with unregulated temperature and humidity changes.4 reasons why you need to #scan those old #slides NOW Click To Tweet
Your slides take up so much space
If your grandparents’ slides are being stored in the original bulky projector trays, they take up so much room. When I received my grandparents slides, they were in rectangular projector trays in paper boxes in 2 valises. After scanning the slides, I removed them from these trays and put them in an archival quality slide storage box. Now instead of taking up the space of two medium sized suitcases, they are in a box the size of a boot box. Wouldn’t you like to reclaim some of your storage space.
Entire generations haven’t seen your slides
Of the 2,000 slides I scanned, I had only ever seem a handful of these images that dated from the 1950s until the early 1980s. Considering that I was born in the early 1970s, most of these images pre-dated me. I was so tickled to see images of my grandparents in the 1950s looking like they had just stepped out of an episode of Mad Men. Now I can share these pictures with my mom, my aunt, my uncle, my sister, my cousins and my children. Generations to come will know more about my grandparents thanks to this project.It’s time to #scan your old slides and see those #pictures again. Click To Tweet
The stories on the slides are getting lost
About 15 years ago my parents got their own slides scanned. Dating from the early 1960s until the late 1970s these images shared with me a side of my parents I had never known. Dan and Joni as a young married couple, as young parents to me, their first child. I even got to see pictures of myself I had never seen before. The stories told in these images are precious to me and I am so thankful that now the stories can be told and remembered.
What are you going to do with your family slides? My recommendation is to have them digitized as soon as you possibly can. You can send them way to a reputable vendor like Fotobridge, find a local photo organizer/scanner like me or even do it yourself with a good photo and slide scanner. To find local photo organizer/scanner in your area, use the Find a Photo Organizer feature from the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.
Grab your copy of our Home Organizing DIY Assessment Workbook. Find it at the Good Life Organizing Store along with our other ebooks. If you would like to get more organizing tips and ideas, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. You’ll also get our 10 Easy Ways to Get More Organized tip sheet as a free gift.
*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase from a link, I may receive a small commission with no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my business! See my disclosure policy for full details.