Preserving Your Personal Digital Photographs: Library of Congress Presents Online Session

Do you wonder if cloud storage is a good option for your personal digital photographs?  Do you have questions about metadata and file formats?  Are you uneasy about the prospects of keeping your digital photos available for yourself and your family into the future?  If so, you have lots of company.

Tourist Family, by fatedsnowfox, on Flickr

Tourist Family, by fatedsnowfox, on Flickr

On April 26, over 570 people participated in a web-based presentation about preserving digital photographs.  I had the pleasure of giving the session on behalf of the American Library Association’s Association for Library Collections & Technical Services as part of Preservation Week. A recording of the session and a copy of the slides are available on the ALCTS website.

The presentation discussed how to identify the different places where personal photographs might lurk, as well as how to decide which images are most important and ways to organize your collection.  I talked about the importance of making copies and storing the copies in separate places.  I also touched on metadata, file formats and storage media options.

The talk had a dual purpose.  The major intent was to give basic tips about what people can do to preserve their personal digital photo collection.  Digital photography has grown phenomenally popular in the just the last few years, and there is a shortage of practical information about how to manage personal images.  The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program has provided personal digital archiving guidance for the last couple of years, and the presentation drew from information on the program website.

My second goal was to encourage librarians, archivists and other information professionals to get involved in providing similar advice within their communities.  I made the point that the need for personal digital archiving advice is going to keep growing and that librarians are exactly the right people to help meet this need.


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