”When the elder is without offspring and they have tons of family photos, what should they do (in a pre-planning way) with the photos? Any ideas?”
Nope. Not a single one.
I am in the same position as Celeste without children nor nieces or nephews. My brother and I are the end of the family line and there is no one I can think of who would be interested in having the ancestral photos.
Plus, everyone knows that anything published on the interwebs lives in some corner of it forever and I've posted the best of the images (well, the ones about which I had something to say) in my photo biography for any future curiosity seekers.
But it seems to me that unless a person without children is notable to his or her community – that is, someone whose parents or grandparents, or him- or herself, is likely to be mentioned in histories of the city or town - there is little reason to hold on to family photos.
So why are those boxes and ancient, crumbling albums stored away on a closet shelf in my home? Twice in the past seven years I have moved long distances and in packing up the house each time, I asked myself if I should keep them.
Both times I had no answer so I stuffed them in a carton and here they continue to sit without an audience.
Have you ever been to a yard sale and found a photo album or two for sale for a dollar or so? It is always sad. You ask yourself what happened? Was there (like me) no more family? Did everyone die? Or does the latest generation just not care?
Many years ago when the web was new and all, someone whose name I have forgotten bought a set of family albums at such a sale sale. Not having any idea of names or relationships, the purchaser created a website where he or she posted a photo each day making up a story over time about all the people.
I recall that it was quite popular and I followed along, too, while feeling more than a little wistful about those children running through summer lawn sprinklers and their 1950s' parents, all with made-up names.
Since none of this helps with Celeste's question, I've decided to let us try a bit of crowd sourcing and see what solutions you TGB readers can come up with.
When, as during the packing to move and now while writing this, I get tired, with no useful result, of thinking about it, my inclination is to dump them. Who could possibly care.
But maybe some of you see it differently. Let us know.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marc Leavitt: On Turning a Page