Three Helpful Websites That Teach you how to Preserve Your Vintage Family Photographs For Future Generations

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We all love a good mystery. But when it comes to identifying and preserving vintage family photos, one little mystery can consume us for weeks or months! Have you ever discovered an old family photo and wondered, “who’s this guy and how’s he related to me?” That’s a common mystery for families when working on preserving their vintage photographs. Discovering old family photos is like unearthing buried treasure that needs a name. It can be fun, fascinating…and also frustrating! That’s why we want to share these three helpful websites that teach you how to preserve and organize your vintage family photographs for future generations.


That’s right, the American Association of Retired Persons is a great resource, whether you’re a retiree or just someone who loves vintage photos! When you dig in, you’ll discover that their blog is full of helpful tips that teach you how to preserve your vintage family photographs. They even posted an entire series of articles about family history, including an article about how to date old photos.

In addition, they shared six tips for safely preserving old family pictures. (Hint: sunlight is not your vintage family photo’s best friend!) The tips they posted are simple to follow because they’re practical. From understanding how to frame and display old family pictures to making high-quality copies, AARP’s series on old photos is worth checking out today. Our favorite takeaway from their series is this easy-to-remember recommendation:

The Four S’s of Saving Family Photos – Scan ’em, Size ’em, Send ‘Em, Store ’em!

With sincere interest in helping individuals of all ages preserve their family history, AARP is sharing so much helpful (and free!) information. Although a few of the tips should be revised and updated – it’s better to back up your scanned family photos in the cloud as well as on physical media like DVDs  – the tips shared on AARP’s blog are timely and pragmatic. You’ll be glad you read them!



Since we’re on a roll with acronyms, let’s continue with the theme! The Association of Personal Photo Organizers is a cool group of independent business owners who provide assistance to people who are overwhelmed with a lifetime of printed photos, digital photos, media and memorabilia. That pretty much describes 99 percent of us! So if you’re feeling buried by thousands of photos that are building up on hard drives and filling up drawers, you should check out APPO’s blog.

One of my favorite posts on their blog describes “The ABC’s of Organizing Photos.” Author Lisa Kurtz, APPO Director of Operations, gives readers clear guidelines for sorting through piles of photos. She also offers thoughtful (and therapeutic) tips on when to toss old photos into the trash can. Yes, sometimes that’s ok!

So if you’ve got a big box of old family photos that need to be sorted, organized and saved, APPO can help. Your priceless family photos – and your sanity – will thank you.


3. The Library of Congress

We’re getting geeky now. When you visit the Library of Congress website, you will be launched into a world where historians help you apply their best practices to your own photo preservation projects. Take advantage of all the tips and tricks they’ve learned during years of research.

They even have an entire week devoted to preservation. From in-depth webcasts about preserving your old family albums to best practices for backing up your digital photos,the Library of Congress is a treasure trove of instructional advice.

Whether you have boxes of printed pictures that never made it into an album or folders of digital images that your family has never seen, go ahead and get started preserving your memories. These three helpful websites will teach you how to preserve your vintage family photographs for future generations.

rachellacourBy Rachel LaCour Niesen, Steward of Stories & Founder of SaveFamilyPhotos.

Rachel is a Yankee by birth but a Southern storyteller at heart. When a much-loved uncle gifted her with her first SLR camera, Rachel found her calling in photography. In pursuit of her passion, she headed to the University of Missouri, where she studied Photojournalism and Art History. Since then her work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. Along with her business partners, she founded LaCour, a wedding photography studio based in Atlanta. As LaCour grew, the team co-founded ShootQ, a cloud-based business management application for photographers. In 2010, ShootQ was acquired by Pictage. When she’s not curating old family photos, she enjoys adventures with her husband and partner in entrepreneurship, Andrew Niesen.

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