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Photography has dominated the way we remember memories important to us, and we’ve seen huge advancements in the type of cameras that exist. From Polaroid to Kodak, to cell phone cameras, photography has always been a tool carrying on each new year with us.


Today, we rely on our cell phones to hold all our photos for us — but cellphones haven’t always been around. While with Polaroid cameras photos could be instantly printed right after being taken, all those beloved photos had to go somewhere for safekeeping, leading to an explosion in scrapbooking.


Scrapbooking has always been favored to creatively document photos and memories; however, with our society consistently updating what’s “old” and “new,” we’ve seen several methods of scrapbooking come in and out of style.


Brief History

During the 18th century, commonplace books had massive popularity. If you are unsure what commonplace books are, they’re a different breed of scrapbook, allowing the owner to compile more than just photos, including other items such as:

  • Prayers
  • Poems
  • Flowers
  • Recipes


Students and scholars would use them for learning and reviewing purposes — essentially creating a scrapbook filled with educational material.


Another method widely used during the late 18th century was “extra-illustrating.” This is the process of combining outside images and materials from a separate book and compiling these pieces into your scrapbook. While the final product was aesthetically pleasing, this process was considered very destructive, since pages were being ripped and torn from one book to the next.


If you or your family do not have any old photos, or you just like viewing photography, a museum in Philadelphia has a collection over 500,000 rare photos. These photographs can be a source of inspiration for how to take some modern-day pictures to start your own scrapbook.


Regardless of how scrapbooks were put together, they’ve always been a household favorite tool to dip in the past and see your family’s history. Since scrapbook organization ideas change quite frequently, past styles have begun to reemerge in modern trends. Scrapbooking during the 18th century was more straightforward and simple compared to now, and in the 1700s there wasn’t the vast amount of scrapbooking tools and decorations compared to what we have now. However, the 1700s style has starting trending again and it’s not very difficult to recreate.


Recreating and Organization   

If you have a ton of old photos lying around or are wanting to set a scrapbook theme, going back in time to the 1700s and using their style may be the way for you. There is, however, a specific process and more attentive detail needed when organizing older, more fragile photographs.


You must first organize your photos, but some may be brittle and break down when you move them or take them out of old photo books. There are a few routes you can take to help preserve the photographs:

  • Individual scans
  • No-touch photography
  • Full-page scans
  • Stitching


Once your photographs are ready to be organized into scrapbooks, follow along with the route of extra-illustrating but with less destruction from other books: You can print-out different poems online, dig around for movie stubs, or visit your local craft store for materials.


To fit in the 1700s theme, staining paper with black coffee or tea creates a more “rustic” look. If you decide to stain paper, make sure you leave plenty of time for it to air dry, as you do not want to stain the back of your photos or leave them with a lingering old coffee smell. After allowing the stained paper the appropriate time to dry, where you take the theme is entirely up to your creativity. Family albums were common in past days, and it’s a great way to showcase your family’s best photographs.


Americans alone captured over 105 billion digital pictures in 2015. Printing out and storing these photos in scrapbooks prevents individuals from accidentally deleting or losing any photographs. If you contributed to the 105 billion pictures that were taken, creating a scrapbook to display these photos is a resourceful way to organize them. You can assure their longevity and reserve the ability to pass the books on to the next generation.