The Photo Album Project
It is time to explain the photo album project I’m working on. Particularly as it is uppermost in my mind this morning. I put in a long evening at it last night and felt great to see that I had scanned, arranged and labeled all the photos from one of the Elliott albums. I’ve just taken some photos to illustrate this review of what I’m doing. With the help of my friend Linda, when she can come. (She is a school bus driver and this week she has to take some classes on outings).
Perhaps I should explain first that while working on the history book we had scanned pretty well all the loose photos we found in a cardboard box the size of a case of copy paper. There were some put away in albums, but those were in a fairly tattered condition. There were also a box or bin full of black binders which Mr. Elliott, the founder had used for scrapbooks where he kept onion skin copies of letters and testimonies, and poetry and also the huge amount of photos that people had sent to him.
We had scanned a few that seemed appropriate for the history book, but left most of them because it would be an overwhelming chore to identify them and file or organize them in a permanent way. In the back of my mind I knew all along that one day we should go through them and put them into new and easier to handle albums, but in such a way to preserve any story they told.
There were also the stack of photos I had taken since I became involved in WTM events. Those had never made it into any albums.
Just boxing all these photos and taking them back to the office meant they would not be shown and eventually someone would decide to destroy them. So I decided that when the book was done I would tackle this photo album project. And no, I did not really know how big it would get.
Of course, some people might wish for copies of these albums, so to prepare for making digital copies to print out I decided that we would scan all the photos as we sorted them into pages for the albums. (Those digital albums can then be worked on later some day). Last night this stage went quite quickly and well. Mind you, I’ve had practice! I was able to scan all the photos in the Elliott scrapbook for 1948.
I arranged them on the pages, and stopped to type up labels right away while the information was fresh in my mind. I got 2 1/2 pages full of labels, printed, and ready to cut and glue down. Hopefully I will get that stage done yet this week too. (My goal is to get one binder done each week).
This is what the pages look like once the photos and labels are done. Then I put two pages back to back and slide them into a clear page protector pocket. This way the photos can be touched, and yet not touched, as they are explored in the open office area at Impact Canada.
Would you like to see where I get the photos from? At least at this point?
Well, here in this bin are most of those albums. The ones on the left, pushed back a bit are done. the three on the right are yet to be done – after Linda finishes the one she’s been scanning, and I finish the next one I just took out of the bin last night.
What do the Elliott scrapbooks or albums look like inside? Well, this photo gives you a peek. The pages are fragile, but there are many treasures of photos, comments beside them, and other extras filed in them. I feel like I know the people of the Elliott Era (1930s to 1955) much better even than when I was writing about them in the history book.
When these are done, I will next tackle this stack of envelopes of colour photos that I took since I became active in the mission in 1999. These will not need scanning for the most part, since I have also got them on CDs. Some of them are already on my computer. At this point the project will pick up some speed.
Here are some glimpses into the finished pages of the binders already full. The Elliott Era binder is about half full. The Rice and the Anhorn Eras are full already. Hopefully the Stobbe Era photos will fit into the fourth album.
Some more album pages – just to give you a sense of the variety and yet the consistency throughout the albums.
Which reminds me; I had got a nice big package (250 sheets) of this goldenrod coverstock paper at Value Village for about $1.99 (usually they cost around $20). But I saw in the last few weeks that I was going to run out. I began to shop around to find another package of the same colour. The Value Villages had no more. Nor did the two Staples stores I checked last week.
However, last Wednesday a man at the second Staples suggested I try Supreme Basics on Millar Ave. I found them, but their store looked like all they sold was office furniture. No one was around. I went to the sales counter, ran the bell and started browsing in the big catalogue. I’d just found the page with the kind of paper I was looking for, when a woman came from the back where she had warmed up her soup for lunch.
She explained that most of their paper supplies were sold from their Regina store, but she would check…and disappeared into the room right behind the sales counter. A few minutes later she came out with a package of exactly the right colour. The wrapper had been torn and a few pages taken out, but it appeared to have nearly 250 sheets. She handed it to me and said, “Merry Christmas!”
Really, no charge! Praise the Lord. (If I come back for more, it will cost me $20 to order another package).
So this is what the albums look like so far. Two and a half binders are full. The thinner one is filling up with photos with unidentified people. I’m hoping some people might go through it and name some of those people.
The binders have plastic pockets on the outside, so I will be able to design title sheets to go there, as well as on the spine.
Perhaps those who haven’t the patience to read the history book, will browse through the albums and get a sense there of all that God has done through Western Tract Mission, now – since 2014, named Impact Canada Ministries.