Saving Family Photos

When I was young, I was sitting in my parent’s living room and looking through the photo albums that my mom had created. They spanned generations, from my Great Great Grandmother’s family, to me when I was young holding a towel around me after swimming in a lake. My dad always seemed to have a camera around his neck when we travelled, and while we didn’t travel out of state often, we did try to explore different parts of Oregon, and every year we went hunting and my dad would take pictures.

 

Storage for personal photos has never been exactly up to archival standards. People use photo albums that have a plastic cover and a sticky back. While it does help to keep the photos from moving, over time the glue degrades the photos and yellows the glue and eventually the photos. Before that people would glue photos into a photo album, or in some cases even to paper that was then put into a binder. While even old photos were usually good quality, over time these storage methods can degrade and, in some cases, even destroy the photo.

 

Today, most things are digital, including hundreds of thousands of photos taken daily using cell phones and digital cameras. This is helping grow the collective history, whether people like the “selfie” generation style photos or not.  As a cultural historian, these photos show what life is like now, just as photos taken in the middle of the century showed what life was like then. The method may have changed, but the result is the same.

 

As our ancestors have passed away, many younger individuals are left with photo albums and are not sure what to do with them. Add that to our increased mobility and this history gets donated to thrift stores or sold at garage sales because there isn’t a place for large photo albums anymore.

 

This is how Schellinger Research and other digitization companies can help. When people think of digitization, they think large scale for businesses or libraries, but often, my clients are private individuals that want to digitize documents and other material to decrease physical clutter, while easily indexing and holding on to history.  Also, as time goes on originals may deteriorate, but the electronic copies will always be there. This can help create custom Christmas gifts like calendars with family photos or small photo books and framed images for the wall.

 

If you are someone who has photo albums laying around and you want to keep a digital copy for future use, please contact us. Our rates are affordable, and in most cases your photos never have to leave your possession, whereas other companies you may require you to send your photos away for them to be digitized.

 

If you have a collection of photos that you would like digitized and preserved, please reach out to Schellinger Research via our contact page.  We are still accepting projects.

 

Until next time, happy scanning 🙂

Personal Scanning

Over the course of the last two years I have acquired three different scanners, all with different purposes.  For both personal and professional reasons, I decided that I needed all three.

 

I have a Canon flat bed scanner. This is an older scanner, identical to the one that I used when I worked for the DOD. It’s great for historic documents, especially odd sized ones from World War II.  I use it for anything that is fragile or could not be scanned through the feeder scanner. The computer application I use is basic, like the scanner, but it is works for certain things.  However, it is not good for books or things that are thick because of the way that the top flattens to the glass.

 

I have an HP feed scanner. This is great for copies of records or records that are newer and can be scanned. Receipts and personal tax records for instance are prefect for this type of scanner. When  working on my book, “Men Beyond the Stones” I used this scanner to digitize all the files that I received from the National Personnel Records Facility (NPRC). That way I could put the paper records away while still using the information I needed from the scans.

 

Realizing that I had documents that I couldn’t scan using either my flatbed or feed scanner, and moving forward with my digitization business, I decided I needed something more robust.  Also, I wanted to use some of the records that the local museum had in their archival collections. That meant that I couldn’t check the documents out, but I didn’t want to write at the library. I decided to purchase a larger scanner that has the capacity to scan books and larger items.

 

in the box

 

As a collector of military books as well as antique books, I immediately wanted to test this scanner’s capabilities.  I have a submarine book that I have been looking at for a while, trying to figure out the best way to preserve it while also using it as a reference. I decided this was the perfect place to test the scanner.  Something odd shaped, old, and somewhat brittle to preserve.

 

Sub Data

 

I set it up in the living room on the coffee table so I could watch tv with my daughter and scan. It worked perfectly, and I now have a full scanned copy of this book on my hard drive, waiting for me to use. As I am using this for my personal use, while still maintaining ownership of the original, I am not violating copyright law.

 

Scanning Sub.jpg

 

Not all scanning has to be important, or even immediately useful.  For example, I have used my feed scanner and my Canon scanner to scan recipes.  Were they old?  No.  Were they important?  Not specifically.  But was it convenient for me?  Absolutely.

 

Over the course of two years I acquired many food magazines, from my mother, my aunt, and personal subscriptions. I decided that I didn’t want the magazines just cluttering up my house and so I went through them and tore out all the recipes that I am interested in, or that my family would eat.

 

After I took them out of the magazine, I had a stack of papers. Scanned, saved, and put on my computer for future use.  Just like that!

 

If you are interested in having documents, images, or recipes scanned, please reach out to us via our contact page to see how we can best assist you.

 

Until next time, happy scanning!

Working from Home

Many people tell me “You’re so lucky to work from home.” Yes, I am lucky, but it is not all rainbows and unicorns, and if you are considering working from home, I recommend you really think about it before making that decision.

In my case, I can work primarily from my home, both in my freelance research as well as my scanning job. However, there are many times that I go out of the house to scan documents, or to meet with a client. That means packing up everything and making sure I don’t forget something.

 

 

I do worry about forgetting something so I check and double check to make sure I have all cords, cables, and anything else that I may need to help complete my project. The above image is from the first day that I went to work on a project at the library. More information about that project can be found here.  I took more then I needed, but did I know that? Of course I didn’t, because I would rather be over-prepared and not need something, as opposed to showing up under-prepared, and looking incapable to the client.

 

Outside of work related issues with working from home, you also have the personal issues to take into consideration. Picking up the middle schooler when she isn’t feeling well? Check. Picking up my brother’s kids or watching them in a pinch when both my brother and his wife are working? Check. Waking up early to go meet a plumber for my brother? Check.  People will often expect that “You don’t work” simply because your schedule such that you are home all day.

The flexibility is nice, but sometimes that also means when something happens, you need to drop your work and do it. If you’re someone who likes to have a set schedule, but also the flexibility of working from home one solution that some people implement is working from home while maintaining some form of space away from their house. Also, be sure to have a separate part of the house as a home office. You shut yourself in the office and your family knows this means you are working.  This also differentiates your work space from the space that you are relaxing at home in.  Do either of these things always work? No, especially when you have household responsibilities such as vacuuming or dogs to be let in and out.

 

For me it’s great, I wake up when I want to, depending on my schedule for the day, and I can sit on my couch with my cat while I type. This obviously doesn’t always work, but often it does. Other times it can be aggravating because I have deadlines, but other responsibilities require my attention.

 

The biggest issue I have is the work to home balance. When you work from home there is always some form of work you could be doing. I really set schedules and make sure that I have a good balance. This means that sometimes things don’t get done immediately, but it means more time with my family doing family things.

 

Fiscally you have to consider working from home versus working outside of the home. Some jobs transfer great from outside the home to inside, others do not. If choosing from going to an employer to freelance or working as an independent contractor there are many things to consider. Insurance premiums, tax payments, and social security are all things that should be considered before taking the plunge. Don’t forget, independent contractors don’t get taxes taken out of their checks so remember to make quarterly payments to the IRS or you risk owing money when you file your taxes. Additionally, insurance premiums can cost more as an independent contractor than it would through an employer.

 

Before taking the plunge and quitting your out of the home job for something at home, make sure that it is something you can do. Also, if you do decide to work from the home, set schedules and limits. Set money aside for taxes or insurance premiums, and make sure that you are protected.

 

If you think that Schellinger Research can assist you with a project, please reach out via our contact us page.

 

Until next time, Happy working!

The importance of digitizing historical documents

When I was working on my book Men Beyond the Stones I went into the local library to look at what archival documents they had. I was hoping to find images of the individuals who I had not yet been able to track down. While I was unable to find the images I needed, I discovered something almost as important. The library had an entire wall of documents, books, and binders full of newspaper clippings and manila envelopes full of documents, all unable to be checked out.

 

At the beginning of 2020, I decided not only was I going to push Schellinger Research forward, but I also planned to volunteer more in the community. My volunteer opportunities outside of the time Schellinger Research donates includes being part of Home Fires Burning which is a local group dedicated to helping caregivers of military veterans, I also am currently the secretary of Friends of Girl Scouts(FOGS) The Dalles, a local organization that supports the local Girl Scout troops.

 

Deciding how I can put my knowledge to use, I approached the library director about scanning the documents in the glass case. I believe that archival documents should be widely available, and by scanning them, hopefully more people will be able to view and make use of these important documents. It will also make it easier for researchers such as myself, who may be interested in the documents.

 

Historical documents, be it photos, newspaper clippings, or written accounts of historical events help to enhance our understanding of events, culture, how people thought and behaved, and most importantly, how documentation of events occurred.  Today, people create vlogs, or take pictures and create a social media or blog post. Even 20 years ago the technology was not to that point, so history was documented differently.

 

This difference is what I thrive on. It’s piecing together elements of the past to make a cohesive picture for modern historians and everyone to see. To like history does not mean you have to be a historian. To understand what people from the past went through does not mean you have to have a degree or be related to them. Just as sitting down and reading Anne Frank’s diary takes you into her life, so does looking at photos and reading accounts of what life was like for those before us.

 

Living in the Columbia Gorge has surrounded me with Lewis and Clark history, and the history of the Oregon trail. Personally, my interests tend to go towards post 1900 culture, interesting pieces from the past have still pique my interest. While for me it may only be a passing glance, others live for that history that was previously sitting on a shelf in a library.

 

Specifically, for me, digitizing history is important to ensure that it exists after the paper breaks down. After the people who lived during that time pass away. And ultimately after their stories have ceased to be passed down from generation to generation.  Just as we work to preserve ancient history, we must also work to preserve recent history, as it can serve as a reminder of where we came from.

 

Reach out to us for all of your digitizing needs.

 

Until next time, happy researching!

Welcome to our site

Welcome to Schellinger Research.  We provide assistance with all of your writing & research needs.  We are a small family owned business that specializes in providing a full range of writing, consulting, and research services to individuals and companies.

Our services include book services, writing services, and research services.  Please refer to About Our Company for detailed information on the services we provide.

We want to Congratulate Andretta Schellinger, one of the owners for her newly published book “From Knights to Skulls: The cultural Evolution of Nose Artwork” Check out the status and all pertinent information here.