our stories began the day we were born into our family. these stories made up of moments and memories are unique to each of us.
most family traditions include documenting, the milestones and experiences of the family adding each chapter as time moves on. in the not-too-distant past, photo albums would be carefully filled and maintained with images of loved ones past and present. media evolved and video tape and disk technology enhanced the ability to preserve and archive these important experiences. these new tools gave birth to a movement of preservation and sharing these stories with family and friends. people took great delight in making vhs tapes of their family vacations, weddings, birthday parties and all the events that were the pages and chapters of their stories. scrapbooking became all the rage and each memento was creatively cut and pasted into albums by hand, long before it was done on the computer.
boxes and boxes of photos developed in storefront photo labs are still existing in countless homes today that won't see the light of day again but that no one has the heart to toss out because they are irreplaceable and treasured memories. they are family archives. they are a collection of data, memories, moments, answers to questions, questions with no answers.
i believe that family archives are losing their hold on our society. i believe we have gone so far forward technologically that the precious moments of our stories don't stand a chance of survival if they are left to languish on a phone or an external hard drive or a computer in their digital format without taking the additional step of having them printed and stored for future generations.
as a side note ... i have an external drive sitting in the bottom drawer of my desk. it has hundreds of photos on it. time ran out on that drive. my computer tech could not retrieve those photos. i don't know which pictures are on it. i don't want to know. i do know that i print what i love now. i backup the rest in two other places and check the technology often. i can't bring myself to throw out that hard drive. my family archive. unaccessible.