Digital Photo Archiving

Dear LazyWeb:

My wife and I have something like 4000+ photos that we need to scan (at high resolution) and archive, and be able to logically manage.

My platform choice is Mac. I will likely be purchasing a Mac Mini to dedicate to this task (2GHz model). I do not want to afford a Mac Pro, as awesome as it would be to have such a powerhouse in my home. I already have an Epson 2400 scanner, and would prefer to not have to replace it.

I have no idea what software to use for the resulting photo collection. I’d like something better than simple files on the disk, and am considering either Lightroom or Aperture, even both of those seem aimed more directly at digital photography.

I would like a simple workflow, if possible, that doesn’t rely on me naming the images. Tagging and notes/comments would be required.

Can I get away with Lightroom or Aperture, and whatever scanner software I can install for my scanner? Do I need something different?

Can Lightroom or Aperture store images on an external disk (which may not always be connected?) I’ve got plenty of storage already on my home network.

UPDATE:

Hardware will likely end up being a new 13″ MacBook, instead of a Mac Mini, as my wife needs a replacement for her iBook anyway, and the new MacBook has way more power than the mini. This definitely necessitates the ability to store all the images on external storage, ideally via a network (SMB/CIFS) share.

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Digital Photo Archiving