Coconino Sun Editor Fred Breen at his rolltop desk in the newspaper's offices on Aspen Avenue in Flagstaff.

Do you have some treasured old photographs tucked into a drawer or boxed in the attic? Any photos that show Flagstaff-area commerce and community around the turn of the last century up to the beginning of World War II?

This is a chance to dust off those images and be part of a special Flagstaff-area history book that the Arizona Daily Sun is planning for the fall. Flagstaff’s history, although relatively short, is so rich and the city's evolution so dramatic that we thought it was time to ask readers to help us show it through their photos and those of family members.

Our hardcover coffee table picture book, "Flagstaff Memories: The Early Years," will focus on life in Flagstaff and Coconino County from the late 1800s through 1939. We’re partnering with the Museum of Northern Arizona and Lowell Observatory to tap their cultural and scientific images. But we're also opening this book up to submissions from the community.

And that will make it even more special.

"It is the hidden gems submitted by readers that will make this book a unique treasure," said Brad Fenison, whose publishing company, Pediment Group Inc., has produced hundreds of history books such as this one in markets across the United States.

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll stage four photo scanning sessions at community locations. You're encouraged to bring photos to be scanned that meet the criteria. You'll get full credit in the book for providing the pictures, if they are selected.

We think this is a terrific way to involve the community and extend the reach of a book beyond the photos of newsworthy events that have appeared for more than a century in the pages of the Arizona Daily Sun and Coconino Sun.

Here's the kind of photos that will interest us:

--General interest photos taken in the Flagstaff region of commerce, transportation, architecture, industry or public service. (Photos of relatives in the back yard aren't exactly what we're looking for. But pictures of people gathered at civic or community events or at work would be most welcome.)

--Black and white photos taken between the late-1800s and 1939. (Please, no newspaper clippings or photocopies.) Real photo postcards are also welcome.

--A limit of 10 photos per family.

The first scanning session will be held Saturday, July 22, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the main Flagstaff library in, fittingly, the Jan Romero Stevens Community Room, dedicated in memory of the Daily Sun’s late community editor and children’s book author.

We'll follow that up with three scanning sessions the next week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – please see the schedule below.

The photos will never leave your possession. They will be scanned and logged while you wait.

Fenison says the scanning sessions are "lots of fun." To keep things speedy, people can download caption forms from Flagstaff.PictorialBook.com in advance, then bring the pictures. Pediment will hold onto the caption forms (one for every picture) and return the photos to you on the spot. If you are a private collector, please call 360-723-5800 to set up an appointment.

"It's like Old Home Week with everyone having a common interest in greater Flagstaff history," Fenison said. "The caption sheets need not be perfect. We are just looking for basic information like names, location, and circa date. We will craft the captions later.”

Pediment scanned more than 600 photos for one recent history book in Buffalo, where nearly half of the 300 photos that ended up in a history book there came from reader submissions.

"We always make an effort to get at least one image into the book from each person that takes the time to come in to a scanning session," Fenison said.

It's a great opportunity to be a part of history.

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