I was pointed to this handy photo storage site by a post on Kelly’s “My Blog .. My Life ..My Ancestry”. Shoeboxes are collections of photos – just like the real shoeboxes we used to store our family snaps in, but these are digital.
An account with 1000Memories is free, and lets you store as many photos as you want. They plan to bring in paid accounts later, with extra bells and whistles, but I like it as it is – I prefer to edit my photos on my own PC rather than using a website.
Once you’ve created an account, you start to create shoeboxes. These can be public or private; if you make a shoebox private, you can invite people to view it by emailing them. You can switch a shoebox from public to private (and vice versa) by clicking the “lock” icon. Pictures can be in more than one shoebox – upload it once to a shoebox, and then click the “shoebox” icon the picture to choose another shoebox to share with.
You can delete photos and shoeboxes, and add more, very easily. You can also import from Facebook, Instagram and Flickr. They also have a scanning service, which I haven’t tried – this provides an online copy of your photos, and a DVD.
You can add captions (although they don’t show on the display page, you have to click on the photo to see it), as well as dates, locations, and tags. You can post a photo to Facebook, and “like” a photo. Photos from a digital camera will import the date from the image data.
There’s an app for iPhones and Android, which lets you scan and upload straight to your shoeboxes. I’ve tried this, and it works well, but I don’t get very good results with my smallish smartphone and wobbly hands! It would be most use when meeting up with someone who has family photos you want to copy, but you’d need a good phone and a steady hand, plus a bit of practise first.
I like its simplicity – no fancy background options, four simple buttons, and a plain but still attractive interface. The Help is extensive, but well indexed, and easy to use, and the FAQ pages cover all the questions you’re likely to have when you start. If you can’t find an answer, you can post a public question – I’ve seen several where the team have agreed that suggestion is a good one, and will be added in the future.
If you love old photos, you can browse through the public shoeboxes, or use the search. This works best on topics that are fairly common, such as “wedding”. You can’t restrict the search to your personal shoeboxes, although there may be a way to do this that I haven’t discovered.
I’ve enjoyed playing with this, and I’m using it as an extra backup to my family photos, as well as making some available to other family members who are tracing the families.