Archiving the Notebooks

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 19:25 (UTC+0530)

"Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?"

    – Talking Heads, "Life During Wartime", on the album "Fear of Music", 1979

If you know me well you know that I always carry a pocket notebook and a pen.  Have done so for about forty years.  Often I have full size notebooks around as well.  These things are full of musings and mullings, sketches, shopping lists, scrawls, passwords, and phone numbers.  Once a notebook is full, or worn to falling apart, it gets tossed into a box and stashed somewhere, usually in a closet or an attic or a dank basement.

Last year I decided it was time to disinter and digitize these relics, as I have previously done with old photographic negatives.  So I bought a travel case and brought them to Sri Lanka with me when I returned here from my last visit to the USA.

Using my trusty point-and-shoot camera and a tripod, as well as a borrowed black shirt of Karen's for a backdrop, I spent days and days snapping high resolution photos of every page of every notebook.  I got a crick in my neck from turning the pages.  Every shot was quickly backed up to the Cloud.

Later I wrote a program for the Mac that let me annotate each archival image with dates, tags, and comments.  This will let me quickly search the archive from a computer.  I could do research on myself!  Or just enjoy some sweet nostalgia.  And maybe start putting together those long awaited stories...