How to Digitally Archive Your Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are a treasured hallmark of the holiday season. Some may be sentimental, like your child’s first Christmas card or a letter from an ailing loved one. These memories should live on even if you cannot physically store them. Remember if you store them as-is, you could still lose them to fire water damage or theft. Storing holiday cards digitally will help preserve your precious Christmas memories.

Step 1

Decide if you want to store the holiday greetings on external media or online.

Step 2

If you select external media, it is recommend that you use DVDs or memory cards. If you opt for online sharing or storage, be sure to read the fine print about copyright of objects you digitize and publish. In other words, do not retransmit, sell or reproduce items for which you do not own the copyright. A handwritten message, however, is usually not copyrighted and as such you can usually do as you like with it.

Step 3

Gather envelopes, inserts and cards and use your scanner set to a high resolution (300 dpi or higher) or use a digital camera to photograph the documents. Note that if you are using a camera, make sure you are directly above the item in natural light and parallel to the item you are photographing. Digital cameras should be set to their macro setting if possible and set half the horizontal distance away from the object. The distance should basically be about 12-18 inches above most standard cards, depending on whether or not you have the card spread open.

Step 4

Consider using a video camcorder to preserve musical cards or cards where you would like to record a comment.

Step 5

Save images using non-compressed formats to preserve as much quality as possible. You can compress images after they are saved in non-compressed formats. This effectively gives you a small item, without losing any image quality.

Step 6

Upload to a Web server or online storage website. If you choose saving to external media, save the images to your media devices. You may want to print some of the pictures, but after digitally archiving they will be safe for years to come.

Step 7

Update your collection as you get more cards.

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