JDM von Weinberg , Nov 02, 2010; 10:52 a.m.
Not everything can be saved, unless you are a 'hoarder'. It is admirable that you are trying hard to help out the common good.
However, as a anal-retentive archaeologist (and we all pretty much are, or we'd be doing something else), where an innate tendency on my part was coupled with explicit training to reinforce the conservation ethic, I'd just remind you that conservation applies to historical data and human creations as well as to nature. The 'artist' is not always the best judge of the quality of their work. If only we had some of the paintings and musical compositions that were destroyed by their makers over the centuries. It is common these days for art historians to discover accidentally preserved archives that shed new light on an artist and on the cultural environment.
Of all things to keep, film--negatives and slides--must be among the most compact.
A picture that was ordinary, even banal when it was taken, becomes an historical document after time passes of things that generally didn't get recorded because they were ordinary and banal to most people at the time.
Thus the snapshot is often a more important historical document than a Karsh portrait, not for the picture of Aunt Maude and her friends on a picnic, but for the things in the background, the day-to-day fabric of life at a particular time and place.