Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking

Next month I'm taking a distance learning class from SOLINET on Caring for Scrapbooks . I've been reading about digital scrapbooking, which are scrapbooks which exist only in digital form. There are web sites, software, and even a magazine . Photos can be altered, elements can be added, altered, or highlighted, and memories can be enhanced. What will happen when someone tries to donate a digital scrapbook to an institution? Will it be considered history? Or is it art?

In the introduction to their book, The Scrapbook in American Life (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006),Susan Tucker, Katherine Ott, and Patricia P. Buckler, write:

“Most scrapbooks and their ephemeral content do not last and provide only a fleeting usefulness. They disintegrate and crumble. The leaves fall out. The enclosures drop off the page. Archivists, the most conscientious embalmers of primary materials, tend to neglect them because they are conservation nightmares. None of the solutions available will correct all the problems. Sometimes an archivist must destroy a scrapbook – take it apart – to save it” (p. 18)

And there's another difference between paper scrapbooks and their digital counterparts.