If the going rate on a picture still amounts to a thousand words, Mark McIlveen’s collection of family images would produce a six-million-word tome that would make War and Peace look like a pocket novel. When he finally completed the arduous task of digitizing 6,000 photographs from six generations and stood back to examine the results, it was a head-shaking moment.

“It was certainly a strange visual,” says McIlveen, “to have had all these boxes of albums and then spent more than a hundred hours digitizing them to wind up with a tiny little shoebox thingy of about 40 discs.”

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