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Guide to Creating a Genealogy Scrapbook Album

Aug 17, 2007
What is a genealogy scrapbook? A genealogy scrapbook is a scrapbook designed to trace your family's tree through pictures and photos handed down from generation to generation. Photographs are quickly being replaced by digital images and photos from our parents and grandparent's era are beginning to deteriorate, even with the best of care. If they are not taken care of and treated well by storing in maintained scrapbooks, these pictures they will be lost forever.

The first step to creating a heritage album is choosing the actual album. The album should reflect the contents you plan to put inside. Consider a high quality album in deep rich tones for your heritage scrapbook. You may want to consider an album that uses top loading pages, because you never know when you will find or be given a new photograph that fits somewhere in the middle of your book. Top loading pages make it easy to change the order around when needed.

Once you have chosen your album, it is time to choose your paper. Always use acid and lignin free papers in your scrapbook to preserve your photographs. Since your heritage photographs are most likely going to be black and white or sepia tones, choose colors that will interact well with that color palate. Cream, burgundy, navy blue, gold, silver, and other rich tones work best in heritage albums. If you are going to use patterned papers, make sure that the pattern has an antique look to it, otherwise it will clash with the overall theme of your scrapbook.

Before you start a genealogy scrapbook, check your supplies and make sure you have enough paper on hand, but also avoid the temptation to run out and buy everything in sight. Should you need to top up your supplies later on, you can always go out and get more paper or stickers. Consider the types of embellishments you'd like to add and spend your money on those. In a genealogy album, the types of embellishments are extremely important; you want to be able to add that "aged look" to enhance the photos you are using.

Once you have purchased some basic supplies, get out your pictures. Don't forget to ask family and friends if they have any old pictures you can go through that they are keeping in a shoebox somewhere. Find the pictures you want to include, and then take them to a store that has a one-hour-photo. Most one-hour-photos have a machine that allows you to scan a picture and reproduce it. Do this for as many of the pictures as you can, because chances are the old photograph is already starting to fade and decay. By making a copy of it, you can preserve the photograph for several more generations. We are fortunate that black and white photographs are more durable than their color counterparts, but if you do not take the time to preserve them now, you will eventually lose them. And by making copies, you can give the originals back to the people you got them from.

When you start to assemble your genealogy scrapbook, you are embarking on the creation of what will hopefully become a family heirloom passed down through generations. Do your research and find as many names and dates as you can about the people in the pictures. Write the information down and keep track it in the book. Remember, this project is more than just a scrapbook, as your book will be a valuable keepsake for future generations.
About the Author
Graham Johns runs and writes regularly for Easy Scrapbooking Ideas where you can read many more articles on scrapbooking and geniology.
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