My son was exploring in a family basement and came across the cabinets of 35 mm photographic slides therein.
35 mm slide projectors are only available as used items these days. There really is no practical way to preserve these thousands of family slides and carry the images forward into the future. These are not paintings of yore that hung on a wall, these are creations of technology that lived and died by the sword of technology.
Among the slides are slivers of my own past.
My sister and I, photographed in September 1963, processed in October 1963, just a month before the nation would lose John F. Kennedy. The hands holding the photo – the son of the boy in the picture.
I think about images and photographs mostly in the frame of family history – how to pass down the family photos. I have no idea how long Google or FaceBook will be around. CompuServe came and went in its time, as did GeoCities. Each time I moved photos to the next available platform.
And even on Google and FaceBook there is the issue of access into the future. I can “friend” my currently living children, but how to pass along permissions to descendants in perpetuity? Short of setting everything to public sharing? Perhaps future descendants will not care to see images of the ancestors.
As for the slides, they are most likely to continue to remain in the darkness of their cases for the foreseeable future.