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zweinz's avatar

Why are your family photo albums valuable?

Asked by zweinz (63 points ) November 3rd, 2011

Describe your family photo albums. Most people rarely look back at them, and with families spread out across the world, these stories are rarely told any more. Yet they’re the first things that people grab when the house is burning down.

When do you get value from them? When you add the photos? When you find them years later? If you don’t use family photo albums, what do you use instead? Facebook? Flickr?

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12 Answers

rojo's avatar

I have them in my library and look at them frequently, as does my daughter. I do feel guilty about having everything on the computer nowadays and try to make hardcopies from time to time of ones I think important.
It probably stems from the same thing inside me that prefers a real book to a tablet or a real magazine to an online version.

rojo's avatar

As to the value. I think it is that they are a memory prompt to remind you of your family and friends and the history you have together.

marinelife's avatar

History, memories.

YARNLADY's avatar

Happy memories.

Hibernate's avatar

I don’t have any. What I own I carry with me [in my head].

WestRiverrat's avatar

Without the family photo albums, I never would have known 2 of my great*4 grandfathers fought on opposite sides and probably against each other at Shiloh. One lost his right arm, the other his left. Their respective units were directly engaged with each other.

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t have photo albums, I have shoeboxes of photos and I look at them often. They are pieces of my heritage; the photos document the history of my family, and my own history. I have lost my grandparents, both my parents, aunts and uncles and in some ways my brother. The pictures are not all I have left of them, but they are more personal and meaningful than any of the material objects that my loved ones left behind.

JLeslie's avatar

I have a album of photos I put together after my grandmoher died. I grabbed a bunch of photos from a brown grocery bag in her closet when we were going through her stuff. I love looking at those photos, I look at them several times a year.

KatawaGrey's avatar

This summer, my mom’s cousin died. I called him uncle and his wife my aunt. He died after a hopeless, arduous battle with cancer. My mother and I went to see his widow and make sure she was going to be all right. We spent a lot of time going through old photographs, many of which were also of a younger brother of his who died a few years ago. It was the most wonderful and cathartic thing we could have done. We told the stories behind those pictures and made copies for everyone. My mother and I still look at them and have plans to frame them up and display them, but it’s a bit too soon. When I see those pictures including several of me as a little girl with my uncles I am reminded of the kind of men they were and how happy and lucky I am that I knew them and loved them. Yes, I am aware of this always and I don’t need the pictures to feel that way, but actually seeing those two men young and healthy and happy makes every one of those feelings stronger.

stardust's avatar

Memories. I love to have pictures of loved ones I’ve lost. I love thinking back to happy times.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

The oldest survivor in a family branch usually keeps the original pics and makes copies for the rest of us to have. When that person dies, their grown children have taken over the albums.

We keep them for history, especially since we are part of the making of the American West/Frontier. It’s a lot of fun to look into those old pics and see some semblance of ourselves.

woodcutter's avatar

It’s nice to have proof that we weren’t always fat.

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