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Using FlipAlbum to Preserve and Share Family History

Are you a genealogy nut? If yes, read on as my personal project story may inspire you to use FlipAlbum or another album-making software package to save and share your precious family history. Recognizing that programs such as FlipAlbum 6 can be powerful family history tools, here’s what I did to transform my father’s WWII photo album into a digital heirloom.

Ever see the 1990 movie about the crew of the Memphis Belle bomber? The film dramatically portrayed the harrowing experiences of a B-17 bomber crew flying missions over Germany. My father lived that story as he served as a top turret gunner and master mechanic on his Flying Fortress.

When not rattling off rounds from his double barrel machine gun in pitched battles in the sky, he’d pull out a small camera and capture shots of combat, life on the plane, and his R and R trips throughout Europe (see Figure 3.17).

Figure 3.17

Figure 3.17 My father’s WWII album is full of tiny photos measuring a mere 2.5 by 3.5 inches.

Like so many war heroes, my father never talked much about his experiences before he died in 1966. When my mom passed in 1981, I inherited his now frail and aging little album. Because it’s such an important piece of family history, I wanted to create a special, enhanced digital version my sister Carol and my dad’s sister Virginia could hold, cherish, and pass down to future generations.

Enter FlipAlbum 6 and a variation on the idea of having a musical MP3 audio file background. Instead of using music, I recorded my Aunt Virginia’s voiced recollections of Dad’s war stories and used them as a running audio narration. (See Chapter 7, "Turn Your PC into a Recording Studio," on how to record audio using your PC.) To complement my aunt’s voiceover, I added informative text captions to each image in the album. The result was very rewarding, as shown in Figure 3.18.

This is a perfect example of how the power of your PC can preserve the kinds of memories many families have collected through the years. I can tell you the reaction of my sister and aunt was worth all the hours of work it took to put this together!

Figure 3.18

Figure 3.18 Using FlipAlbum 6, I created an annotated 3D album narrated by my Aunt Virginia.

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