Scrapbooking or the hobby of maintaining a scrapbook is a fantastic way of keeping a record of your family's personal moments and stories. The most common thing to go into a scrap book are photographs although it isn't uncommon to find letters or artwork in there as well. Basically, anything and everything that reminds you of certain aspects of your family members and can be placed inside the pages of a book, of sorts, is considered part of the scrapbooking hobby.
There are many ways for us to indulge our habit of preserving things from our past. While putting them in a box is just fine, labelling them properly or keeping them in a scrap book ensures that there is more value-addition to our collection instead of just being a collection of things. Scrapbooking is definitely not as popular today as it was. That, however, hasn't changed the way it has been carried out over time.
The Art of Scrapbooking
Since the beginning of the 15th century, there has been a massive exodus of people who turned to "commonplace books". These books, first available in England, were a journal of sorts and allowed people to keep their recipes or quotations or even letters within. The contents were always dependent on the kind of user and over the years, these commonplace books became known as friendship albums. The 16th century equivalent of the modern-day year-book, these friendship books would allow friends of the book-owner to enter their details into it.
These books would come with the coat of arms of the person or family it came from and over time, they became a souvenir for the next generations of their family. In the 16th century, another concept really took charge of the minds of people - coloured plates! These were plates that depicted Venetian festivals or carnival scenes and while the original artworks were quite expensive, these were specifically sold to become part of the embellishment for those books.
In the 18th century, James Granger published a book on the history of England leading up to the year of publishing. To prevent the book from becoming incomplete as time went on, he provided a number of blank pages at the end of the content to enable people to keep adding in their own memorabilia and continuing the "history" so to speak. This got its own name and was called "grangerizing", or the process of leaving blank pages at the end of books.
By the time the camera came into the market as a commercially available product, it had become a part of the scrapbooking process and almost took over the entire hobby. By taking pictures, people could create memories of their past events, putting it into their scrap books and entering information about when and where the photographs were taken, or why even. By the 1880s, photography had become part of the concept and modern day scrapbooking was, effectively, born in that period.
Creating or Collecting?
There are two main ways in which you can involve yourself in the world of scrapbooking - the first is where you spend your time looking for scrap books that other people have made. You scour flea markets and garage sales in search of old scrap books that might belong to some individual who might have thrown it away without realising its true value. The older the scrap book the more valuable it is likely to be.
Go through the content as well, if you are planning on collecting them. There might be photographs in there that hold tremendous value because of pictures they might contain. Someone could have caught a film star off-guard or spent time with a famous politician of old, and captured it without sharing it with the world. This might be your ticket to a small fortune as that photograph could really raise the value of your scrap book.
The other form of scrapbooking is the age-old tradition of maintaining one yourself! You head into a hobby store and buy yourself a scrap book or album. These are permanently bound but allow the insertion of pages into the book if you so choose. You can add in CD holders, matchbooks and a whole lot of other different accessories that will allow you to expand your scrap book into different arenas. Then, you simply need to start adding things that you would like to collect.
Maintain things in a particular order and you can slowly build your scrap book up with things that hold special meaning for you, giving you the kind of outlet you need to spend your spare time in something meaningful. The hobby of scrapbooking may be quite old but the idea is still extremely popular today. In fact, getting your children into scrapbooking might be one of the most interesting things they do with their time. If you like to reminisce about old times and want to preserve those memories, then scrapbooking is the thing for you.