Check Out Our Genealogy Blog »

Add Data to Scanned Family Photos

scan photosOne of the best activities you can do to help preserve the family heritage is to scan the numerous family photos. That includes gathering those collections of photos from other family members. During the cold winter months or in the heat of summer, set aside time to at least start or finish that project. It is so great later to have all those images in digital form to share or have prints of.

However, there is one item that many forget to do when they scan these vintage photos — that is to properly label and add notes about the image. If you just place a series of numbers when saving each image, it becomes very hard later to identify the photos, especially if it is someone else examining them. So the first thing is to place as the SAVE AS title for each image after scanning is a brief description. Example: Albaugh home, PA, 1880. True, you may not know an exact date, but do place some approximate date. Location is also important, even if it is only a state initials.

scan-boxThe next thing is to provide some more details about the place, people or event in each photo. When you scanned the image, check the margins and on the back of the photo for any details. After the image has been saved to the computer, take the time to have the image title in front of you on the computer screen. Now the following saving additional method can only be done on images scanned as ‘JPEG’ format, not ‘BITMAP’, or ‘Gif’ or ‘Tiff’. So with all the JPEG scanned images, place the mouse cursor over that title and right click it once. Look for the word ‘Properties’, usually at the bottom of a list.

scan propertiesLeft click the word ‘properties’ and another list will appear, with ‘General’ and other tabs at the top. Select the tab titled ‘Detail’ and left click on it. Now you will see a list of categorizes, such as Title, Subject, Comments, Date, etc. In each or all those categories is where you can add details. Especially use the ‘comments’ section to add information such as the people in the photos-their names, the location, what event is occurring, etc. Even if you are not sure of a name, a date, event or location, put down what you guess and then place a (?) so you or anyone else seeing it will know the provider is not 100% sure. Then click ‘apply’ and it is saved.

You can scan those family photos with a portable hand-held scanned, a feed scanner or a flat-bed scanner. The most important thing is to do it and add the information about each photo.

Have your database of family tree names and information to add birth-marriage-death dates. This can be so helpful for anyone you share the photo with to know. That image with the additional information embedded with the photo will stay there permanently. The only way the information doesn’t stay is if someone removes it or the title of that individual photo is changed later. Taking some time to add the extra information can prove to be invaluable later.

Photos: Photos to be scanned, working with a scanner and computer and The ‘Properties’ view to add information on each photo.

Related genealogy blogs:

Wand Scanners

FamilySearch Scanning of Photos


< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.