I've thought about doing something like this for my father-in-law. He and my husband have been doing genealogy research for almost a decade, and have found SO much information about all sides of their family.
If you have the Lux ury of a large extended family, enlist some help! A great-aunt of my husband put together a big family cookbook project some 10-15 years ago - asked everyone for photos, memories, and recipes. I think they all sent in some $$ for their copies of the finished book; it's been an awesome way for me to get to know some of the extended family members I haven't had the chance to meet, and some of the family history from the last few generations. My hubby just finished a photo montage (with titles, sound, etc. on DVD) for this summer's family reunion. We won't be able to make it, but there are hundreds of pictures in there of his grandparents, their 12 kids, and all the various descendants.