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Among my mom's things were a lot of old pictures. Some of the immediate family but also some of ancestors whom I never met. She had sorted them into groups, labeled them etc. I don't really want to keep all of them but feel somewhat guilty to throw them away. But they were her pictures, not mine. I think I'll go through and keep a few of her and my dad, but probably throw away the rest. Anyone else face this task?

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I scanned all my family's in and handed copies out to all the relatives. I scan in the negatives if possible and not the prints since those are much higher resolution. There are a bunch of pictures of people I have never seen before. Some from over a hundred years ago. It's history. Digitally, it's easy to keep them for ever. You can also just upload them to a free image server and add them to sum of human knowledge. Thousands of years from now, people can look at them as a window in time.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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My SIL who is very practical actually took pictures on her phone of many of her parents old photos. Surprisingly her pictures of a picture turned out quite well. I believe she eventually downloaded them to a thumb drive and took them off her phone and got rid of the paper copies. Of course, I assume this approach would only work for casual photos without historical significance.
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Reply to GingerMay
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I waited for them to have a sale (usually 30% off) and shipped all the family photos to Scan Cafe (scancafe.com) to be digitized.

The will send a DVD, but if you have an Amazon Prime account you have unlimited photo storage and they will transfer them for you. Or Google Photos, etc.

Then you can share the digital files with family members and trash the paper photos if no one really wants them.
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Reply to JenniferLeigh
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freqflyer Mar 10, 2019
The DVD is good if a lot of family members want the same photos. I remember my Dad going to do that with all the family photos. At the time it sounded good.... now with me up the family trees I am glad he didn't.

For myself, I prefer the original photos. I can hold the photo, and know it was actually from the 1890's or whatever, and that my parents had actually held this photo. My great-grandfather was a photographer, so handling the actual photos that he had taken gives me a sense of being there.

I have tossed out original black/white photos, such as those real tiny ones from the 1940's that have pinking shear type cutting around the photo. Even with a magnifying glass, it is hard to view the photo.

Oh, most of my relatives of my age and older don't even own a computer. So actual photos are best for them, or photos that have been scanned.
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Is there a genealogy or historical society in your area? If yes, they may take the picture for others to research in the future.
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Reply to OldSailor
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My sister and I are putting together small albums with narration to remind our mother who her relatives are (and who she is). She loved the one about her granddaughter. Have you thought about putting some of the photos of ancestors online, on Ancestry, or some other family-tree site? If you have names for these people and dates (however vague) they lived, someone might be able to trace their family tree by using yours.
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Reply to SFdaughter
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Yes. I threw the ones away of people I didn’t know, pictures of my aunts & uncles went to their children/grandchildren. My mother had HUNDREDS (literally!) of pictures and I couldn’t keep them all. My mom was notorious for buying every single picture of us that a photographer took, and I even threw away a bunch of my high school senior pictures after saving a few in case my children should ever want them.
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Reply to mollymoose
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Do you have any contact with extended family you could offer them too? Pic, especially old ones, can mean a lot to someone interested in compiling a family tree.
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Reply to cwillie
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freqflyer Mar 10, 2019
I agree with cwillie. Example, I am daily climbing the family tree via Ancestry, and love finding old photos so I could see what a family member had looked like. I feel like I had won lottery whenever this happens !!
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I live in SNJ lots of small towns. My Great Grandmothers family was noted for opening a Newspaper in one of the bigger towns. I am donating those pictures and information I have, to the County Historical Society. They said they would love to have them. Another relative was well known in his small town. I had photos from the early 1900s. Donated them to the town Historical Society.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Yes, I have had to go through pictures of unknown family too. When Mom needed to go into a memory care facility, I inherited everything (only child) including a bunch of old photos.

We recently (1 week ago) moved to the Puerto Vallarta area. There was no reason to save pictures of 3rd cousins who I never met or pictures of my dead step father’s family. There was literally no one to pass them on to so in the garbage they went.

I will admit it does seem a bit sacrilegious to toss a photo. Makes you feel like you’re doing something “wrong”, Why? I don’t know. Or maybe “dishonoring” the person. But realistically speaking, the people in the pictures don’t know you’re ditching it in the garbage.

If if you can’t get past the guilt, maybe you could make a collage of “unknown” family and hang it in an out of the way place.
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Reply to SueC1957
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