Once you've scanned all your old family photos and historical documents, what will you do with them? You could just store them on your computer's hard drive and hope it never fails. But that would be a very foolish thing to do. All hard drives eventually fail, even if it takes a long time to do so.
Although redundant local backups are one way to go, more likely you'd like to share many of those documents with near and distant cousins. For that, an online photo repository is ideal.
A critical step in preserving photographs and other hardcopy documents in digital form is scanning. Although scanning is easy to do with relatively inexpensive devices currently available, there are important things to consider, especially when the end product is intended for use by many future generations.
When you scan a photograph or document, you need to think about things like:
* What pixel resolution should I use? Higher resolutions provide better detail but require more storage space.
Have you ever had an old photo with no idea who those people in it were? We've all experienced that. In some cases, the pictures have no historical significance, but there is no doubt that a lot of discarded pictures would have been of great interest to the families of their subjects.