View Full Version : What to do about proof sheets?

Richard C. Trochlil
26-Nov-2001, 21:48
I have reached that point in life where I need to start thinking about who shoul d get my 'stuff'. And included in my stuff are nearly 1000 proof sheets (35mm-4 x5 and points in between) of family photos dating back to 1956 and copies of ear lier photos dating back before 1900. All are carefully annotated on the back. There are also large number of proofs of 'art' but they are not a problem, a nex t generation photographer will get them. He will also get all negatives and all family proofs.

The problem is that I have just found out that a fair number of my descendents w ould like their very own set of proofs. I should have figured, at every family reunion they go through to proofs to show the grandchildren what Mommy looked li ke at their age.

Anybody got any good ideas as to what to do?

#1 son suggested scanning onto disks. Well, sure, I don't know how many disks but I think a lot, have no idea if the scanning program will work 15 years from now, it would take over 1800 scans (both front and back) and because they are on glossy, scanning is a little tricky etc etc etc.

Photo copying is another possibility. I have a quote of about $150/set and the quality does not appear too bad, at least the photos were recognizable and the w riting on the back could be made out.

Any other ideas out there?

Doremus Scudder
27-Nov-2001, 08:57
Just leave them "en masse" to the entire group and let them sort out the copying, scanning, etc. after you are gone. That way you can get on with doing something constructive for the rest of your (hopefully still very long) life. Regards ;^D)

Raymond Bleesz
27-Nov-2001, 11:27
A suggestion: Donate your archives to the local library or historical society with a stipulation that they provide a set of scans to your immediate family members & they in turn would receive ...........

I will be somewhat facing the same situation. It seems to me that this issue is a universal one which doesn't crop up very often in public, and in my opinion, I know I have mataterial which would be vital info for Historians et al. "down the road".

Another tought: I also believe that one of the greatest gifts one can besto upon another is for you to give your "archives" to a younger person in your profession who you admire, or have taken under your wings or who you want to succeed in the profession who needs "support", hoping that this individual would do the right things over time & would benefit professionally-- a noble donation. Raymond A. Bleesz, Histographer

Peter Popp
27-Nov-2001, 12:10
Richard - This comment is not likely to be of much help to you, but I just wante d to say how lucky I think you are to have such a problem. I can only hope that when I need to make such decisions that I have such a rich legacy of material to pass on. Regardless of how you go about it, the recipients will be very lucky t o receive such a gift.


James Phillips
27-Nov-2001, 20:20

If I was in your situation I would probably just leave detailed instructions to the family members on the many options available for making proofs. Should they then choose to take the steps necessary it would provide them with the following pleasures. The could reflect on what you have done throughout your lifetime while they were working through these options, as well as bring them an appreciation of your years of commitment towards your work. This would help them to still be an active particpant in your memories.

Of course I also realize your desire to take positive action to ensure that yor work is preserved and shared.

All the best in the future and may you have many years yet to ponder over which option or path that you might choose.

Kind Regards,

Bill Jefferson
28-Nov-2001, 06:23

another opinion here, scan them to cd, you keep the rights to the proofs, any relative instered in the cd, make copys, let them print the pics they want


Richard C. Trochlil
28-Nov-2001, 13:11
Thanks folks, I appreciate the input. Some good ideas there. Coming from a family where fights over family memorabilia have travelled over three generations, I figure I ought to do SOMETHING to prevent potential future controversy. Unfortunately, my natural propensity is to do NOTHING and continue to take photos. We shall see.

BTW, a great aunt of my children fixed the problem from her viewpoint. On receiving word she had inoperable cancer, she burned everything, photos, diary's, my Grandfather's journal, etc. I had a grand cousin that did the same thing. A lot of people got pretty mad about that. Luckily, I'd had a chance to photo the important parts along the way so not all was lost.

Anyway, I doubt I will try that solution. Of course, if my kids ever make me REAL mad.....