A relative has hundreds of photographs and other documents which he would like to make available to our fairly large number of known relatives. Presumably a web site would be the best way to do this (I'm a web developer, but building such a thing seems like a fair bit of work, so I would very much like to find an existing site which would do what we need). He would also like to allow relatives to add notes to those documents, such as information about who is in photographs and when and where they were taken, or maybe comments about inaccuracies in newspaper articles or additional information related to the subject of the document.

A few other things I would like:

  1. be able to download the entire collection of documents and associated annotations.
  2. require a password which I can share with any relatives, so people don't need an account to access the documents, but also so that the entire internet can't find it, since I think some relatives would feel uncomfortable with that.
  3. not as crucial, but it would be nice to have an associated public front page (not password protected) with a summary of what is on the site, and instructions on how to request access. (I could also do this on a separate web page.)

(I considered using Facebook for this, say a closed group, but it doesn't seem ideal because as far as I know you can't download a collection of photos and all the comments on them, and also I'm sure some relatives who would like to see these don't have Facebook accounts.)

  • 2
    This is a question that I think you may have success asking at the Software Recommendations Stack Exchange. The requirements you describe do not seem to be specific to genealogy and family history.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 12, 2016 at 20:32
  • I do think this is appropriate for this site. I just have been too busy to type up an answer. Sorry, will try to do so soon. Jun 14, 2016 at 6:43

3 Answers 3


Have you taken a look at Flickr.com? You can start groups, but also, you could just set up an account, and organize into albums... and download the entire album.

You can also change your privacy and share your pictures with just friends.


I would have thought a Blog would be ideal for this. Something like Wordpress with each photo on its own post and only allow comments from family members (Wordpress login required). Store all the images in a Gallery and a custom members only page for download of the images and comments. You could also still have a public access page as required.


I have a similar situation, and found it best to try multiple venues.

Since the main purpose is to share photos with the family and get comments, I would suggest first forming a family history group on Facebook. Much of the family is probably already there. I have started four such groups in recent years: one secret group spans four generations, two closed groups span five generations, and one open group extends ten generations and several continents. Another secret group I belong to is only open to descendants of a small German village.


The group members tend to share pictures and posts with non-Facebook relatives to get their reactions.

Facebook allows you to upload documents and PDF's of photos for the group to view or download to their own computer.


I keep the actual family tree on its own separate website, but many of the discussions and photo identifications occur on the Facebook pages. This works best for us, since the family members vary greatly in computer skills and their genealogy interest. Also, there is no need for mass emailing or other alerts

I keep many older photos on my site to email distant cousins or people I connect with on Ancestry. I've have good luck with both methods.


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