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Scrapbooking Defined


Scrapbooking is a method for preserving a legacy of written history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabilia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks. Historically, scrapbooking was a tradition similar to storytelling, but with a visual and tactile, rather than oral, focus. Scrapbooking in its earliest form was a way to blend ephemera, memorabilia collections and journaling. People have been scrapbooking since printed material became available to the average person. Some of the earliest and most famous American scrapbookers include Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain.Scrapbooking with photographs has been around since photos became available. Old scrapbooks tended to have photos mounted with photo mount corners and perhaps notations of who was in a photo or where and when it was taken. They often included bits of memorabilia like newspaper clippings, letters and so on.

Modern scrapbooking has evolved into creating attractive displays of photos, text, journaling and memorabilia. As of August 2006, the commercial scrapbooking industry celebrated 25 years of existence, as started by Marielen (pronounced Mary Ellen) W. Christensen of Keeping Memories Alive, the worlds first scrapbooking store (which then had a different name), headquartered in Spanish Fork, Utah, in 1981. Scrapbooking as an industry has its roots in 1976, when Christensen began designing creative pages for her family’s photo memories. She inserted her memory pages into a new product called sheet protectors and placed them inside 3-ring binders. By 1980, she had assembled over fifty volumes of family memories, and was invited that year to display her albums and demonstrate her concept at the World Conference on Records in Salt Lake City. That conference opened the door to a massive interest in memory book design in the United States, and Christensen was invited to give seminars and teach classes to countless groups, including Brigham Young University’s Campus Education Week and numerous church, civic and school groups.

During the following 25 years, she lectured continually throughout the Intermountain West. In addition to her many lectures, Marielen and her husband AJ authored and published the first how-to book on organizing and preserving family memories, called Keeping Memories Alive. Not only were they the founders of the first scrapbook store in 1981 and later name it after this book in 1993, the Christensens began a mail-order division in the back of the building. The business grew very quickly by word of mouth and had to move its warehousing to a larger facility in 1994, and its shipping department to a larger one in 1998

Scrapbook Totes