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A History of Scrapbooking

Page: 3/4


 As family history experienced a resurgence of interest in the 1970s due to Alex Haley's Roots, scrapbooks once again became a popular hobby using magnetic photo albums with self- adhesive pages and plastic cover sheets. At an international genealogy conference in Salt Lake City in 1980, several individuals exhibited their family scrapbooks. Marielen Christensen, the family's matriarch, had begun scrapping in 1976 with sheet protectors inside loose leaf binders. The Christensens quickly capitalized on the interest their scrapbooks had created by writing the first modern day scrapbooking book, 'Keeping Memories Alive,' as well as founding the first modern day scrapbook retail store, The Annex in Spanish Fork, Utah, in 1981.

The Christensens, as well as many other Mormon families, are required by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to document their family history, so modern day scrapbookers can thank, in part, this mandate for the quick rise in popularity in modern scrapbooking. Many scrapping companies began, and are still based, in Utah because of the large Mormon population located there.

The traditional values scrapping emphasizes falls into line with other religions as well. Many scrappers, including many on this site, are Christian-minded and documenting their history, as well as their spirituality or spiritual journey, by way of regular scrapping and faithbooking. The co-founder of the scrapping company Creative Memories, Rhonda Anderson, wrote a how-to book on faithbooking, layouts or albums which specifically detail spiritual moments, lessons, or anything else deemed important enough to pass down, and several well known 'scrapping CEOs,' including Lisa Bearnson from 'Creating Keepsakes' and Sandra Joseph of Memories Expo, are known for their religious beliefs.

The creation of the Internet has also played a major role in scrapping's evolvement into the most popular hobby in the United States as you can attest to since you are reading this either on POTH's website or in your e-mailbox! Once the average family could afford a personal computer and a connection to the Internet, millions of scrappers could connect on a daily basis with other scrappers around the nation and world to share ideas, tips and articles, and photos of their LOs by way of scanners or digital cameras. Hundreds, if not thousands, of scrapping stores popped up with ways for customers to purchase paper, embellishments, and accents with a click of the mouse and have it sent directly to their homes. Other websites popped up to promote scrapping by way of message boards and LO postings with room for comments or suggestions like,, or

The latest major divergence from what we would now term 'traditional' scrapping has been the introduction of digital, or computer, scrapbooking into the hobby in the late 1990s. An article in 'Ancestry' magazine from 1999 begins to describe the different methods and computer programs used in digital scrapbooking, and it has only ballooned in popularity since that time. While scrappers have used the computer to print out journaling or clipart to attach to their otherwise paper layouts for a few years, digital scrapbooking, in its most inclusive form, is completely computer-created. The top three programs are Adobe's Photoshop and its more affordable sister program Photoshop Elements, Jasc's Paint Shop Pro, and Microsoft's Digital Image Pro although other programs from Corel and Ulead are growing in popularity as well. These digital layouts are either burned onto CD-Rs, compiled into digital albums that can be viewed on television screens or computer monitors, or printed off at home or at professional print shops to store in traditional albums.

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