West Fargo Library working to preserve past - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

West Fargo Library working to preserve past

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The weather had many staying inside today; and while most of us were digging our way out of the snow, some were digging into the past.

The West Fargo Public Library held a special seminar today.

A class offered a chance to learn about the past while preserving family heirlooms for the next generations. The technology and the techniques at the library will have your keepsakes looking professionally retouched, but you can do it yourself.

As Jackie Marler flipped through newspaper pages from 40 years ago, she shares what it is that keeps her searching through history.

"It's the joy of discovery," Marler, the library assistant said. "serendipity is something discovered on the way to something else, and it happens a lot with genealogy."

With every page Marler and the other historians turn at the West Fargo Public Library, they inch closer to the past.

But, using the library's latest technology, old photographs are just a click away from coming back to life.

This technology brought Alan Pearson from South Fargo with photographs that date back to the 1960s.

They're pictures he holds as close to his heart as the woman standing beside him.

"The concept of this class is fantastic to come in and explore," Pearson said.

A library assistant helped Pearson to digitally retouch a cherished Christmas photograph from his wife's childhood, making it possible for him to learn how to keep those memories stronger, safer.

"A lot of people are surprised to learn how easy it is to scan the photographs and how easy it is to share the same information with family," Gwen McCausland, historian, said.

And in some cases, Pearson's new skill set will make those memories sweeter.

"A lot of the scanned images have been printed in such a high quality that you would never know what's framed is actually a copy," McCausland said.

The historians at the library will burn the pictures to a disc, which makes them easy to share.

They're best tip to keep old photos looking new? Keep copies of them in the picture frames around your home. It will save the originals from damage.

If you missed the free class, you can catch one more which will be offered in February.

The West Fargo Historical Society is also asking for your donations of historical items to add to their collection of local research.

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