It’s lovely to be back home in Sydney for a visit. We are lucky that my husband’s company pays for us to come home once a year. Facetime and Skype are all very well, but there’s nothing like being here! While we are here we are staying at my Dad’s place. Just now I was having a little fossick around and found some absolute treasures which made me very happy and very sad at the same time.

This is an example of what I found (there is more than one). Can you guess what it is?

I’m not sure what I was expecting – newspaper clippings, old bills and receipts? What I found was an absolute gem – it is a scrapbook about my parents courtship, marriage and early years together! How exciting! Photos, tickets, theatre programs, restaurant menus, more photos. Mum & Dad got married in 1953 – 64 years ago – not so long in the scheme of things, but what a different world it was then. I just love the glimpses this album gives me into their lives, obviously long before I came along, and into the world they lived in. I love the hand-written captions and touches of humour, the photos of my parents when they were young and carefree – well, really everything!

Finding these books reminded me that scrapbooking is nothing new, is it? I’m sure many of us have similar old albums made by ourselves or older relatives full of memories and stories. I can remember scrapbooking when I was in high school, cutting up photos and collecting all sorts of memorabilia to include.

I am so happy to have found this book, and I can’t wait to sit down with my Dad and encourage him to reminisce over those times. But I’m sad too, because of the state this scrapbook is in. The pages are yellowed and brittle, many of the photos are falling out, and some have been lost and the whole books are disintegrating. There’s some debris which may be what is left from some pressed flowers. I have no idea how much longer they will survive.  I’m so thankful that I can preserve these books digitally, and that I can save them in my FOREVER storage account and know that they will be “future-proofed”!

I plan to scan or photograph every page in these books and upload them to my FOREVER account. Then I can share them with the rest of the family, and I can sleep easier knowing they are safe. I’m in Australia as you know, and we don’t have FOREVER conversion services here yet. For those of you living in North America, I hope you realise what a wonderful resource you have there!! I would love to box these books up and have them professionally scanned. Do you have old scrapbooks lying around, gathering dust, fading, yellowing and disintegrating? Check your attics and basements and the back of the spare room closet, and make sure you have a plan for preserving those priceless mementos.

Here are some quick shots I took with my phone of just a few of the pages I found in these books. I’m sure you can see exactly why I had the mixed reactions that I felt on my discovery.


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25 Responses to Blog: A Window to the Past

  1. Avril Lawson says:

    What a wonderful treasure trove to find. And funny to see that even back in the 50’s your parents did funny photos like the ones everyone does today – like pointing at the Matterhorn and joking about the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Love them! Avril

  2. says:

    What an amazing find! I have gone thru and found my grandparents wedding announcement, marriage certificate, my grandfathers discharge papers, etc… and have photographed them, will definitely load them into my forever storage account for safekeeping!
    I’m sure you and your dad will love going thru and reminiscing about all the travels and memories! What great father / daughter time, too!

  3. Jan says:

    How cool is that??? I know exactly how you feel – that’s how I felt when I discovered Daddy’s war albums. How I would love to have something from mom & dad’s courtship! I love the slanted photos on the pages, too! Glad you ran across those and can’t wait to hear the stories you learn. xx

  4. Beth says:

    What a treasure trove you have found!!!! So glad that you did. How fun to read their comments and letters. I just love discovering family items like these.

  5. Kaye Rhodes says:

    Thanks for sharing these fun pages! The pictures, the menu and prices and particularly their comments are a great window to the times and their sense of humor!

  6. Karin Ebuen says:

    Lovely photos and memorabilia! AND, I learned a new word today, “fossick”!

  7. Linda DeLaughter says:

    OMG! What a truly fantastic find! This information will be paramount to any genealogy research that you do in the future! This is why I try to document and photograph our lives!

  8. Kim says:

    What a wonderful find! I have “love letters” that my parents wrote to each other during their “courtship”. They are so darn cuteeee. Wondering how to use them though. Also found an “autograph book” where friends and family would write a comment in them from 1942

    • Shelley says:

      Ooh, how special are those letters!! I found an old autograph book of my mother’s too. Wish she was around to tell me about the people who wrote in it! Make sure you get those precious letters digitized to preserve them!

  9. says:

    Years ago I made 2 traditional scrapbooks of my parents after I discovered papers and photos of my dad when he was in the Navy. When I asked my mom why she hadn’t shared these she said no one probably cared. I assured her that I did care.
    Now with the Forever Storage I should have these books preserved so the family will always have.

  10. Alison says:

    Wow, Shelley, these are an absolute goldmine!! What a wonderful discovery. So glad you have found them now and can preserve them before they crumble to nothing.

  11. Wow what a treasure! Thanks for sharing I loved looking at these. I have only one picture of my parents and siblings from when we were really young. I’m always taking pictures of my children and grandchildren and scrapping them so they will have their history.

  12. Lindie says:

    What a wonderful find. I know you will enjoy this. I also know that you will care for these photos the Forever way. Congratulations.

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