Using DT for archiving and managing scanned, old photographs

I have a DTPO licence, and I am considering to use it for managing photographs. However, I need first to make sure this is the right tool for my specific purpose, since it would be difficult to start and later go back.

I have here hundreds (possibly thousands) old family pictures, going back to the late 19th/early 20th century. I have rescued them from poor storage conditions, fortunately most of them are still in good shape.

In order to preserve those documents as well as to be able to share them with other people, I have decided to scan a number of them.

I have been looking for Mac tools meant for managing archived photographs, but I have not really found something that seems to meet my requirements. Then it has come to my mind that DTPO could possibly do the job.

What is crucial for me is the possibility to insert comments (and not just keywords or tags) with each picture (where it comes from, details about the picture, people on the picture if identified, etc.). Another important requirement is the ability to export the pictures along with the comments in case I want to share them with somebody else who is not on Mac/does not own DT.

What do you feel? Could DTPO be the right tool for that purpose? Or would you advise me rather to use some other tool - in that case, which one?

I thank you in advance for sharing your comments, experiences and suggestions!

PS: what is important too is the ability to see comments/info next to each picture as I go trough a list of them.

Would your comments fit conveniently in the Info Panel? Remember, it’s scrollable and expandable. If so, if would be easy to keep the Info Panel open next to the photo. That would probably not help with the export issue. I suppose you could create notes and use wikilinks to keep the notes associated with the photos.

I have about 500+ old photos that I manage in iPhoto. I stuck to iPhoto mostly because of inertia and the ability to edit the photos. The few comments I have fit in the description area. iPhoto would probably not be a good option with thousands of photos.

Good Luck!

Have you taken a look at MemoryMiner? That might be more up to the job you want to do.

Thank you, KP and Annard!

Yes, I had thought about using the info panel. My question mark is the ability to export the infodata along with pictures?

Memory Miner: I didn’t know it, just exploring it right now. It could be an idea indeed. Let’s see and compare.

Memory Miner would be an interesting tool if I would be working primarily with photographs of people alive - its features are less attractive for my purpose, although it looks like a fine tool and can apparently export well to some genealogical formats.

It allows for annotations, but I think that the export of those annotations would present a problem too.

So I come back to my question about DT use: would there be a possibility to export photos along with comments, if need there is?

I don’t know if this is a satisfactory solution, but you could make comments on a text file within DEVONthink, then merge it with the image file.

You could then export the merged document.

I would think you’d want to use something more geared toward photos than DT. I have used DT Pro Office to make my office nearly paperless, and cleared out boxes of old archival documents and a 5 drawer lateral file. I love DTPO. That said, I am also a heavy user of Adobe Lightroom also. If you are scanning in photos, you are going to almost certainly want to do photo related things with them. Lightroom lets you do non-destructive editing to your images and it will also let you do output to print, file, or slideshow. I have been using it for several years to manage my sports photography biz, and would hate to go back to the way I did things before.

Many thanks to convergent and steveoc for their input, this really helps me in thinking about the best solution.

Probably it is also connected to what one wants to do with pictures. In my case, the primary purpose is archival and conservation of old pictures.

Just to add to the list of photo organizers, I use the PC version of ACDSee Pro in Parallels, but they have aMac beta version of their software (finally).

@harringg: Thanks for noting the beta page. I’ve never really used ACDSEE but might check out the pro version.

BTW, do you think they’ll let you transfer you Windows license to the Mac once it’s commercially available?