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Slide tips

Some of the slide / image collections I get to see and work on can be massive, the largest so far is 9,204. However, for many people being faced with “just” 300 - 500 slides can feel like a daunting task. Most slide collections are created when an entire film of maybe 24 - 36 images were sent off and returned from the processors as 24 or 36 slides. It only takes 10 reels and you might suddenly have up to 360 slides.

For many people there will only be certain slides that hold any long-term interest these might be:

  • Family members
  • Houses your family lived in
  • Family Pets
  • Family Cars
  • Major Holiday scenes

It could be that you are faced with 12 slides of Poole Harbour, none of which has a family member in and you never even owned a boat. At most I would whittle these down to a couple of slides to show that your family went there.

The good thing about slides is that you can get a general idea of the subject matter without the need for specialist equipment, in most cases just holding the slide up to the light will suffice. If you need or want to whittle your collection down, I would suggest sorting the slides into three distinct piles.

Definitely “Yes” - Definitely “No” - “Maybe”

Then once that is done, I would go through the “Maybe” pile for a second time sorting this pile between the “yes” and “no” piles so that you are ultimately left with only two piles.

In most large collections this might reduce the number slides that get digitized to 60 - 75% of the original total. Such that your original 360 slides are now only 250 or less.