Scrapbooks have been around for generations. Early scrapbooks were simply collections of photographs attached to cardboard pages. Today, however, the art of what's called "scrapbooking" goes well beyond the process of putting together the traditional family photo album.

According to Jeanne Wines-Reed, founder and president of the International Scrapbook Trade Association (ISTA), "Contemporary scrapbooking is the creative preservation and organization of written memories, photographs and memorabilia. Scrapbookers are dedicated to presenting their family's experiences - for themselves and future generations - in attractive, personalized and archival formats."Interestingly, in this day of computer imaging, more people than ever are involved in scrapbooking. In fact, new stores, magazines, books and Web sites dedicated to this fast-growing hobby are bringing the joy of scrapbooking to millions of people.

Throughout the country, scrapbookers with a variety of interests - ranging from handwriting styles to genealogy - often meet in clubs to exchange materials, page layout ideas and techniques.

For beginner scrapbookers, Wines-Reed makes the following suggestion. "Think beyond photographs. Think like a photojournalist. Write down your impressions and feelings about a picture, as well as the facts about events."

Including memorabilia in a scrapbook is fun, too. When traveling on a summer vacation, for example, collect airplane tickets, maps, hotel brochures, postal cards and menus. When you get back home, paste these items in your scrapbook along with your photographs. The combination of memorabilia and pictures will bring back fond memories of your time together with your family.

For more information write: ISTA, P.O. Box 295250, Lewisville, TX 75029-5250 or call (972) 318-0492.