When you first set up Historian or Memory Manager 4.0, you will need to import any images that are currently on your computer into Historian/MM4. Unless you are unusually well organized, you will probably have images in a number of places – different files & folders on the computer, memory cards, in the camera  even.

To begin importing images into Historian/MM4, go to the Home Ribbon and find the “Get Media” section.


You can import directly into Historian/MM4 from your camera, from a scanner, and from other sources such as Facebook. You can search your computer for images and all these options will be covered in other training but in this tip we will focus on the “Files” button.


Get Media from Files simply means importing your images from other places on your computer, most commonly your “My Pictures” Folder.

Before you start, I hope you have all your images (and in fact your whole computer) backed up. This is not because what we are about to do is risky, but when moving files around a computer it is possible that files can get damaged. And besides, you should always have a current backup!

To import images from your computer:

  1. Click on the “Files” button 
  2. Navigate to the folder on your computer where your photos are currently. In this example, the photos are in a folder labelled “Swans”, in My Pictures, which is on my C Drive under Users/Shelley.
  3. Select the photos you want to import. You can choose one image, all the images in that folder, or select the images you want. Click HERE for some tips on selecting photos.
  4. Click Import OptionsImporting_Images_006
  5. The Import Options Dialog opens. There are a number of decisions to make:


  • What names do you want to give the image? – you have the choice of leaving the original file name, using a specific name, or creating numbered names (eg Swans 1, Swans 2 etc)
  • Do you want to tag your imported items? If all the imported images are from the same event, for instance, you might choose to tag them prior to importing them. For all the details on tagging, watch this VIDEO. If you choose not to tag at this stage, you can still do that after you have imported the images
  • Exclude all duplicates from import – if you check this box, Historian/MM4 will automatically skip any images you have previously imported, or duplicates within your current selection.
  • Run facial recognition on imported images – you can choose to do this now, or later, or not at all. For more details on facial recognition click HERE.
  • With the image cutter, you can choose to import only a part of an image – there will be future training on the uses of that tool, which is new to the most recent version of Historian.

6. Click OK to close the Import Actions dialog.

7. With your images still selected, click Open to begin the import.

My suggestion would be to import a small number of images at a time, so that you can keep on top of labelling, tagging or any other aspects of organizing the images. 

It is important to know that when you import an image from your computer into Historian/MM4, it is creating a copy of that image. The original image will remain in the original location, and there will be a second, identical version in your Historian/MM4 Media library. I recommend that when you have finished importing each batch of photos, you delete the originals. Otherwise you will find your hard drive filling up very quickly indeed. 


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27 Responses to Historian/MM4 Tip: Importing Images from Your Computer

  1. Monique Lemieux says:

    I have my photos in MM4. I recently bought Historian. How do I get my pictures from MM4 to Historian without problems? Can you please help me?

  2. Ellen Hathaway says:

    I’m using Historian. I now have a new camera and an IPad and I am having significant difficulty importing more than one photo at a time. I was not having problems before that. When I connect the camera or the phone to the PC, I click “get media”, find the photos (or videos) I want, choose my import options, choose the photos I want and hit “open”. I then get a message that I cannot import multiple files at once. I’ve managed to get photos off the camera using the “camera” rather than files and downloading them that way, but still can’t do more than one video from the camera, or more than one video or photo from the IPad. Help! I’m about to go to New York City and will be taking 100s of photos a day – can’t do it one at a time!

    • Shelley says:

      Ellen I am not clear why this is happening, but I can confirm that I am getting the same results as you. I am looking into it, but meanwhile I have a couple of suggestions for a workaround. You could manually copy your photos and videos from your phone/ipad to a folder on your computer, and then import them to Historian from there. Personally I use Dropbox’s automatic camera upload to sync my photos (I like the word “automatic”!). I realsie both these methods involve double-handling, but it should at least get you through your New York trip.

  3. Caroleen Gilley says:

    Need Help, I’m trying to import my photos into Historian but they want import. i have gone over and over the steps. I’ve try one photo at a time, i’ve try two photos at a time nothing works. PLEASE HELP
    Thanks Caroleen

    • Shelley says:

      Caroleen I will need a lot more information than that! Where are your images now? Which stage of the process is not working?

      • Caroleen Gilley says:

        The images are on my computer i want to import them in historian. i open up historian went to file i click on the images i wanted to import then the box open up that said import options i click ok so it will not import them and nothing. it is not import the images to historian.

        • Shelley says:

          Before (or after) you set the import options, you need to select the images you want to import from the ones displayed in the import window. It is step 3 in the instructions in this tip. Then you have to click Open to begin the import. That last step was missing from these instructions – my apologies for that! I have amened the tip now.

  4. Jamie Spiekerman says:

    When importing pictures into Historian I keep getting errors on some photos. The error message says “bitmap from streaming error”. Does anyone know what that means? Thanks!

  5. Julie Krehbiel says:

    Even when I click exclude duplicate items I sometimes end up with duplicates. Any idea why?

    • Shelley says:

      Are you using Historian? I found that used to happen with memory Manager but I have not noticed it since upgrading.

      • Julie Krehbiel says:

        Yes, I am using Historian. Also, is there any way to delete dups once they are in there other than one by one?

        • Shelley says:

          You can select multiple images at once by using shift-select or ctrl-select, then click the delete button. You need to check the box “Automatically use this response for subsequent questions” and they will all get deleted. There’s no “Find duplicates” function built in to the program.

  6. Kaye Rhodes says:

    I liked being able to multi-select images in SBC 3.0 for titles and even basic journaling. That seems more efficient to me than having to import photos in groups so they can be titled together.

  7. Michelle James says:

    I keep my photos in windows as well as in Historian as other members of my family find them there. So just double checking that once I’ve imported photos to Historian I can change the folder names (within windows) and this will have no effect on Historian. I’m just changing the names of the folders so that they appear in chronological order (I have a folder for each month of the year)

  8. Susan Anders says:

    Can you tell me what the deal is with MM4.0 and Historian? Do we have to purchase the new software by the end of the year and move our files over to Historian or will it just update and change over like SBC did? I’m so confused on this!

    • Shelley says:

      You can continue to use as long as it is working. There is no deadline. If you have any problems, Panstoria are not able to provide any support for MM. Historian does everything MM does, and will just open your Memory Vaults – there is no need to move files. This tip explains all. When you are ready, you can click HERE to purchase Historian.

  9. Kim says:

    Shelley hope you can help me! I have backed up everything except my MM 4.0 and SB 4.0 activation codes! My computer has been set back to the manufactures setting so I have to reinstall my stuff again. I can come up with MM 3.0 activation no.and StoryBook creator plus activation no. Will it somehow recognize that I have bought and updated these products further or do you know how to find the serial numbers from my backup?

    • Shelley says:

      Kim, it might be time to bite the bullet and buy Artisan and Historian instead of spending time & energy reinstalling programs with a very limited shelf life. I have no idea how you would retrieve your old activation codes from a backup, but I imagine it can be done. To do that you may need professional help from your computer guy. It would depend how how you have done the backup.

  10. mindys7 says:

    Ohhh, SO timely! Was just doing this as my hard drive was down to only 88 GB out of 700! (I have my vault on an EHD and backed up on 2 different EHD’s that are in 2 different towns…kind of OC about the back up after 2 hard drive crashes.) I had some already in MM and others I didn’t. Ended up cleaning off 20 GB…and that was just 2009 and 2010! Still have 2011-2013! It was hard, hard, hard to push the “empty recycle bin” but I backed up x 2 before I did it. In the last year all pix have been going straight into MM except from phone or from other people. Whew! Will NEVER do this again! SO glad for photo organizing software! Next on agenda: buy Historian!

    • Shelley says:

      I know what you mean about how hard it is to delete! But it sounds like you have a great system of backing up. And isn’t it lovely to see all those free GBs 🙂

  11. Liz Propst says:

    You’re making me laugh and its way to early for this….I am conjuring up images of “image sin” ….too funny!

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