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Our View: Make history at a photo scanning party

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

Get ready for a scanning party.

Starting this Saturday, you’ll have four chances to share your old photos with the community.

The Arizona Daily Sun is planning a special history book, “Flagstaff Memories: The Early Years,” but with a twist. We’re interested in photos taken by families, businesses and civic groups that show life in Flagstaff and Coconino County before 1939.

Because most of those early photos have not been saved digitally, we’re offering to scan them optically while you wait – see the schedule in the box below. You will get full credit in the book for any photo selected.

Here are the criteria:

--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, at play or in school 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, named for 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. The photos will never leave your possession. They will be scanned and logged while you wait.

To keep things speedy, people can download caption forms from in advance, then bring the pictures. They need not be perfect -- just basic information like names, location, and circa date. The full captions will be written later. (Forgot to download the forms? Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty at the scanning sessions.)

Our book publisher, 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.

We’re partnering with Lowell Observatory and the Museum of Northern Arizona for their science and cultural photos, plus photos from our news archives. But our readers will be the ones who make this project special – and have a chance to be part of history, too.

See you at a scanning party.


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