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Archive for Saturday, March 7, 1998

SAVING PHOTO ALBUMS, MEMENTOS SAVES HISTORY

March 7, 1998

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Local crafters find new ways to store and display photos, while keeping them safe for future generations.

or Janice Jacobson, a family scrapbook is a matter of pride and preservation.

``There are so many times you find family photos, and if they aren't documented, you're at a loss,'' she said. ``It's not just getting them in a book, it's preserving history.''

Keeping herself and her four children in touch with their family's past is the main motivation for Jacobson, a Lawrence Creative Memories consultant. At a recent family gathering, an aunt shared memories while looking at old family photos. Many of the photos were aging, something that made Jacobson and her mother determined to save them.

``I wouldn't have known that if she weren't there,'' Jacobson said of stories her aunt told. ``The photo album was disintegrating, so we're trying to save it. So when they (the people) are gone, the memories won't be.''

Creative Memories, an international company based in Minnesota, has been teaching people how to safely store photos and documents since 1987. The company, as well as the trend of documenting families in albums, has grown tremendously during the years. The company alone started with six consultants and has expanded to more than 36,000, including Jacobson and several others in the Lawrence area.

For over 40 years, Marlene Leinmiller, who owns George's Hobby House on 23rd Street with her husband, has been teaching craft classes. Recently, she's seen a surge in scrapbooking interest.

``A lot of people say `I have this old album, but who are these people?' This shouldn't happen,'' Leinmiller said.

A self-proclaimed shutterbug, Leinmiller said making albums that chronicle memories is as much for fun as it is for preservation.

``It's to give Mom a night out,'' she said. ``You've got friends, and you want to do something. A lot of people like to get together and do this.''

The key to making a great, lasting scrapbook, Jacobson and Leinmiller said, is picking the right mounting. Many common, magnetic photo album pages use acids in coloring that are harmful to photos, causing them to yellow and crack.

Books of blank acid-free pages are available in set and expandable forms. Colored pages, photo trims and theme pages help organize and add excitement to the albums. Pens and photo corners, both also acid-free, let you set photos in place and include a little commentary about them.

``We really stress acid-free,'' Leinmiller said. ``It does make it cost a little bit more though.''

The average acid-free album will cost from $14 to $40, depending on size and bindings. Pens, special pages and trims all come extra each for under $10.

``I've done this for years,'' Leinmiller said of making albums. ``I just never worried about the inside until now.''

-- Selena Stevens' phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is selena@ljworld.com.

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