Winning answer by Catherine
Here are the initial steps I would take to make it happen:
It's all about meaning and feelings: depending on whom in your family you want to reach, the very old will want a few prints (not many, because they've lived a lot of this history already and much older members of a family often have less spacious living quarters or have simply a hard time dealing with "more stuff".
Printing is going to be very expensive. Instead of "printing", I'd let my family and relatives decide which photos they want to print for themselves, and the best way to give them the widest possible choice is to send the photos on a CD. . . and make a few prints only for those family members that do not have any access to a computer.
With 90 years worth of photos, that means some are rare, and pretty hard to read (faded, damaged, torn etc.) and others (the more recent ones) are easier to get. First, I'd settle for making two CD's, one for all photos before, say, 1960, and then one CD for all photos since 1961 to the present. CD's cost around $1 a piece and hold about 650 to 680 MB per CD. That's a total of --give or take-- 1330 MB of photos, if all are at more or less 1 MB each If you decide to make your scans so that each 5x7 picture is about 1 MB, which is a reasonable size for a nice, printable resolution, now you know that you'll have to cull your collection of 90-year worth of photos to end up with about 1330 photos max.
Next, since this is not going to be a "Life-Magazine-level" endeavor but you still need crisp scans with faithful colors, make your life really easy and get an All-in-One HP 7410 printer/scanner/copier: why? Because it's actually very sturdy, very simple to use, the steps from scanning to photo enhancement to printing and/or making a CD are seamless, and it has the easiest software that makes photo books for you in all kinds of fun formats, that you can actually save as a photo album on a CD, with varied pages and color schemes. It also creates the CD cover and jewel-case art with you (No, I don't work for HP :-)). I have iPhoto, and although I'm a Mac enthusiast for many things, I think Apple completely missed the boat on iPhoto... The 7410 is well worth its price, you might even be able to get a refurbished unit from Hp directly, for less money... Oh, and the scanning features and results are excellent, by the way, and it's a fax, too.
It also has what you are specifically looking for, i.e., it will print and/or save "contact" sheets for you, or 4 per page or 8 per page or more, and reduce the size of the photos per page automatically for you to fit on the page size you choose (8x10, 8x11, 8x14 etc.) the scanning glass is 8-1/2x14", which not many scanners have these days. You don't have to settle for the "little soldiers in a row", boring look at all!
Once you have the 7410 installed, buy a bunch of CD's and practice creating booklets with a few photos, then learning to burn a CD, always remembering that the first picture on the row of photos you are choosing for your CD is going to end up on the printable artwork cover of the CD. So move the photo you choose as a cover as photo #1 in the batch.
I had photos of friends that were waiting forever to be put on a CD, and since I got this 7410, I've already done several CD's and finally given them to my friends. Complete with CD cover etc. It's fun, it's fast, it looks good.
Just practice a little before you do the family albums, to get the feel of the software. If this is a good beginning, I wish you the best in your trip down Memory Lane! If you need further info, just let us know and I'd be happy to oblige.
Submitted by: Catherine V.