I did do this though on a smaller scale. I had about 15 shoebox sized full of pictures from the time my Grandpa was born until he was married.
Last year he was 85 and I made the album without him knowing (just said I wanted copies!) Most of the pics I had no idea who was in them, luckily they were dated.
I ended up doing them by year, and left tags/items/etc. to journal in later.
I'll get the book up so you can see the idea.
Have fun, and treasure each moment... I know it's overdone, but pictures really do say a thousand words...
I will get them up in my gallery by Monday and let you know!