Digital Preservation of Photo Books


I presented a paper on Long-Term Digital Preservation of Photo Books at the International Symposium on Technologies for Digital Photo Fulfillment in Manchester, England. In this presentation, I highlighted the need to think about photo books as more than a printed book, but instead as a combination of the printed book with related electronic files

Photo books document life. They record activities, events, and people. They give context to photos. They provide an unparalleled source of information about life as it is happening. Photo books are today’s scrapbooks. They are a record of the times, providing a glimpse into everyday life. Preserving the digital photo book file is certainly worthwhile.

When the digital file that created the photo book is available, we are able to find, access, and reprint it. Google and other search services can index it, and it will retain the location, time, and subject information about the original photos.

Unfortunately, most manufacturers do not provide the digital file, focusing instead on offering the lowest possible price.  These files are lost as soon as the book is printed or shortly thereafter and are unavailable to future generations, researchers, and others.

The exception to this is Forever. This company allows you to easily save and preserve the PDF file for any photo books that you create with Artisan software. I use this software to create my photo books.

If you use another service and you’re not getting the digital files with your photo book, ask yourself why not. Even better, ask the photo book supplier for the files, and tell them that if they are unwilling to provide the digital files you will go somewhere else that will.

For the original presentation, see Long-Term Digital Preservation of Photo Books.




About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
This entry was posted in Digital Files, Photo Books, Presentations. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Digital Preservation of Photo Books

  1. Carolyn says:

    Forgive me, but likewise, if a service dedicated to safe storage does not offer MFA, that’s exactly what I tell them.

  2. Deb Gaither says:

    Funny thing about losing the printed book files. I recently went looking for my 2010 beach vacation to make printed books as a gift for family members that were there with my husband and me. What I found was an empty file on my computer and also on my external hard drive that I use as a back up. Making things worse, I had not yet created the JPG file in my Artisan software and uploaded to my Forever account. But I had printed the book with Forever and after one phone call to their help representatives learned that I could order additional copies because my original book was printed with Forever. I LOVE THIS COMPANY! They have it all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s