Television shows like “The Antiques Road Show”, “The Collectors” and “The Antique Collector” have made us much more aware of our histories than ever before. Many attempts in the past have been made to help us preserve those family memories. Kodak was instrumental in getting an inexpensive camera into the hands of millions of people so they could record their family experiences in either stills or movies.
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In time the VHS tape was developed and large cumbersome movie cameras that would use these tapes to record family events and have them played on your home VCR and TV. In time, very small, moderately priced, digital movie cameras were introduced, where the movies could also be played back directly from the camera to your television, and the sales went wild.
Then the digital still camera started to become popular and the digital movie camera has gone from three versions of digital tape to a mini CD. In the mean time the sales of digital cameras have rocketed and all sorts of different versions, attachments and recording medias have been developed.
If you were one of the people who used an old 8mm or Super 8mm movie camera, and now want to watch those old movies, it is getting difficult to find projectors to view them on, and if you had a VHS movie camera, it has long since been retired (probably in the same place your old film camera is).
The only thing that has remained constant in recording family history over that past several hundred years are books. You don’t need any special machinery to view them, they don’t go obsolete and they last for generations.
If you are one of the lucky families that with a family Bible which has been used to record aspects of your family over the generations, consider yourself very fortunate. But now you can do even better. With the technologies available today anyone can put together a Family History Book. You can combine both pictures and text to make some of the most interesting and compelling books you will ever read. Family History Books will be cherished by your entire family for generations to come.
With most families having access to at least one home computer, and often a scanner to scan old pictures, making a family book is fun and easy. All you really need to get started in a home computer with some sort of word processing software on it like Word, Works or WordPerfect. If you have a scanner and want to add pictures into your document you will make your book much more interesting and valuable.
Remember that if you want to use color pictures through out your book you will need to get your book printed on a color printing machine, which of course is more expensive to reproduce than a B&W book. (in some cases individual color pages can be inserted into a B&W book but this can service can add up in cost too, unless you just have a few color pictures you want to add).
One of the first things to do before you even get stated is to contact all your family members. You will want to do this for two reasons, first you will want to be able to get pictures and information from them for the book, and second, you will want to know how many people might be interested in getting a book when it is finally printed. The more books you can get printed, the less it will cost everyone to get a piece of family history.
We recommend that you contact a book printer or self publisher, like www.bookmarkselfpublishing.com before you start your book, to get some details on the best way to proceed. Pictures for example should be in at least 300 dot-per-inch size, otherwise they just do reproduce well. It would also be beneficial to use one of the better quality word processing software packages, this may also save you money later on if conversions need to be done. Once you understand some of the criteria needed to make your book the best it can be, you can begin your project. Since this is a book that will be around for many decades, you will want to take a bit more time at the beginning to ensure you understand the best ways to proceed.
All in all, it is pretty easy to become the author of a valuable piece of family history. You will have the ability to make this book exactly the way you want, and that is one of the features that will make it so valuable in the future.
So … go ahead and get started, these kinds of projects are fun for everyone. Your family members will enjoy digging out old family pictures and relating stories to you. You might even want to add in a family reunion before you complete the book, wouldn’t it be nice to have a group photo to go into the book? Imagine the fun you can have creating a lasting legacy of your families history.
About the Author
Colin Knecht is a co-founder of Bookmark Self Publishing, a revolutionary new company dedicated to help authors achieve the dream of printing and selling their books.
Find out more at http://www.bookmarkselfpublishing.com