One of my clients was describing “an old album” that she wanted me to scan. I was floored when I saw this. With her permission, I’m sharing it with you!




Leather embossed with an art nouveau pattern on the front and a gorgeous basketweave pattern on the back…I’ve never seen anything so beautiful and in such pristine condition.


The inside was equally stunning. I received permission to post one of the album pages (though I purposely chose one that was a townscape rather than a family picture).


album 3


All of the pages had the cut-out windows that you see above. The photographs (most of them were cabinet cards, so they were on thick card stock) would have been slid in from the top of the page. About a quarter of the pages had these little scenic embellishments.


In order to safely digitize the photos, I opted to photograph them rather than scan them. Any pictures that were loose in the album I scanned like normal, but since the majority of them were safe and snug in these pages I didn’t want to risk damaging any of it.


I also felt, in this instance, that preserving a record of the photo in its album page was equally important as digitizing the photo alone. Since my client had already been doing everything right to keep this album in good condition, I simply added non-acidic archival tissue between the pages and reminded her to keep it stored in a dim, dry place, and to consider getting an archival box to store it in.


Here are a couple of details from the album.




The latch is spring-loaded. You press up on the dangly bit and it releases the upper loop. It’s hard to tell in this photo, but the edges of the thick pages are gold leaf.




Proof of purchase from a stationer in Edinburgh, Scotland. The front and back endpaper are that intricate filigree pattern.


What treasures are in your photo collection?