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Oxfordshire Family History Society

Preserve Those Family Photos and Letters

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Past Meetings Monthly Computer Open Day

OFHS Computer Group Meeting   -   Preserve Those Family Photos and Letters

This page is intended to accompany the talk "Preserve Those Family Photos and Letters Saving and cataloguing images so you can find the one you want" given by Alan Simpson to the OFHS Computer Group meeting on December 2nd 2013.

It provides a brief summary of the areas covered, together with a set of links to the extenal web sites mentioned.

The Scale of the Problem

Alan estimated that he had in excess of 5000 images, divided between prints, slides film etc. taken by his parents, and his immeadiate family over the years. Finding a particular one was a major problem.

An ideal would be to store all the images on computer with a comprehensive index allowing any one to be found based on its content. The talk was intended to suggest ways of making this task sufficiently easy, that there was a chance of achieving this ideal. Much of this aimed at ways of achieving a fast through-put.

For Capturing Images

We considered a digital camera, various forms of scanner or the use of a professional service.

For "Proceesing" The Images

The program IrfanView offers an attractive batch processing options.

For Re-naming or Re-numbering The Images

The program 14a Rename offers many versatile options.

For Storing The Images and The Catalogue

A USB Memory Stick seems ideal. 16GB should be sufficient.

For Cataloguing The Images

The program My Photo Index offers a versatile solution and can be run from the same memory stick. Its only slight snag is that it requires the Microsoft .NET framework to be included on the computer. This is included with Windows from VIsta onwards. Windows XP users can dowload it from the Microsoft web site if it has not already been installed by other programs.

Having Described the Options

Alan went on to demonstrate the three progams described above, in action.


IrfanView A Popular Image Viewer, free for non-commercial use and with a very productive batch mode. www.irfanview.com/
14a Rename A very versatile batch renaming program for files. Free if you send its author a postcard www.1-4a.com/rename/
My Photo Index An excellent image cataloguing program www.myphotoindex.com/
My Photo Index Portable A better option if you are storing the images on a USB memory stick. http://portableapps.com/node/20908
MS .NET framework, Version 2 May be required by Windows XP users. Download from the Microsoft web site. www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=1639

Addendum - Cine Film

Since the talk a couple of members who were at the meeting, have enquired about techniques for handling cine film. So it seemed worth adding a few notes here relating to this. Between Dad and myself we had less than 3 hours of cine film all told. Many years ago (ca 1984) when I first got a video camera, and when Mum & Dad were still alive, we copied all this to Betamax video tape by the simple expedient of pointing the camera at the screen. With that camera (Sony HVC-2000) which used Sony's "Trinicon" vacuum tube sensor, the mismatch between the video frame rate and the cine frame rate had no visible effect. I do not know whther this would still be true for modern CCD sensor technology. I haven't tried. The picture definition on 8mm cine was poor at the best of times and the copying didn't make it noticibly worse. The one mistake we made was having the proctor in the same room so that its noise largely drowned out Mum's and Dad's comments. I have subsequently copied the video tape to DVD. The films had been copied in roughly chronological order, so with that and the commentary no further tagging or cataloguing seems necessary.
Last updated 2013-12-16

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