Entries tagged as ‘Preservation’
My great uncle George's daughters, Fan & Kit
My mom is ninety. Her mind is clear but she has congestive heart failure and we both know that her time is limited. With her death goes the knowledgeable custodian of several boxes of old sepia colored photographs of relatives long passed. With a sense of urgency we’ve embarked on a methodical recording and preserving of these photos. If you’re in a similar situation you might find what we’re doing of some value.
- Step one: Mom takes a pencil (not a pen) and on the back of each photo she lightly writes index numbers starting with 001, the first photo. In a notebook she writes down the number. Beside it, as best she can recall, she indicates: (a) the names of the people in the photo and their family connection, (b) where the photo was taken, (c) the occasion (i.e., birthday, wedding, picnic, travels etc.) and (d) the date. On the next photo she writes 002 and proceeds to write down the details as she did for the first photo. At this point we’re not worrying about sorting the photos thematically – that can come later.
- Step two: As Mom completes a set of photos I take them and scan them into my computer and carefully include the index number and description. We are now about half way through her collection. After I’ve scanned the photos I place them in an archival, acid free box. You can obtain these through such companies as Archival Methods, Carr McLean or The Container Store.
- Step three: We haven’t got to this stage yet. But once I’ve made a digital copy of each photo there are a number of presentation options available – one that I’m considering is a Photo Book. I’ll most likely group the photos thematically and include the description that my mom’s written for each photo. There are a number of web based publishers like Blurb that specialize in Photo Books.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get those old family photos out of storage and begin the work of archiving them. Let me know what you’re doing to preserve your family photos. Love to hear from you!
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Categories: Ancestors · How to · Photos · Preservation · Tips
Tagged: archival, How to, Photos, Preservation, Tips
Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your children’s children.
How easy it is for the things we have seen to be forgotten. In ancient times there was a strong oral tradition. People made a point of passing on knowledge and wisdom. We’ve lost most of that tradition. Unless we keep some kind of record of our lives, our children and our children’s children will know nothing of our heart. That would be a terrible loss.
Photo by James Marvin Phelps
Categories: Ancestors · Life stories · Quotes
Tagged: children, legacy, life story, Preservation, Quotes, remembering
I read a recent article that pointed out that JVC, the last maker of VHS Players, will cease production of these models. This means that the VHS cassette will soon become obsolete – gone to media heaven like the 8 track audio cassette and LP. And according to the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, the lifespan of consumer physical digital media is estimated to be five years or less. Those family photos that you’ve stored on disk or the DVD of your last trip won’t last forever either. So what to do? Here’s what I’d suggest to protect your collection:
- Copy all of your film, audio and video tapes to a digital format.
- Keep alert to new formats and ensure that you copy all of your collection to the new format.
- Make certain all your audio and video tapes, old film stock and digital media are stored in a room that is free form dust and extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
- Keep your collection away from direct sunlight and liquids. All audio and video tapes should be kept away from any magnetic fields and other electronic equipment.
- Store your media upright in rigid containers specifically designed for that particular media. Cardboard sleeves are not suitable for storage.
- Handle your discs by the outer edge or inside hole. Never grab them by the surface. The grease and salt from your fingers will damage the disc.
- Drives should be cleaned regularly to avoid damaging your tapes.
- Don’t leave a tape in the drive of a recorder for a long period of time.
For further helpful information on preservation check out these sites:
Photo by Martin
Categories: How to · Preservation · Resources
Tagged: audio and video tapes, CD, DVD, obsolete, Preservation, saving, VHS
Our stories, our personal stories, our family stories, those are our real gold. If we’re lucky, as we age, we put our stories in the bank, where they gather interest in deepening meaning.
Richard Louv, American writer
I agree with Richard Louv, and I would add that our family stories in order to really survive must be recorded and preserved. It’s a theme I keep coming back to, but memories fade and unless we write down our stories or capture them by audio or video recording they will be lost forever. Don’t let that happen to you!
Photo by Cindy
Categories: Life stories · Quotes
Tagged: family stories, life story, personal stories, Preservation, quote
If you’re like me traditional holidays can sometimes feel like an obligation – the true meaning lost amidst crass commercialism and forced conviviality. Thanksgiving in Canada is only a week away on October 13th and in the United States it falls on November 27th.
Why not put thankfulness back into Thanksgiving by planning to record some favorite Thanksgiving memories along with the turkey and pumpkin pie. Arrange ahead to interview Mom or Dad, Grandma or Grandpa, or an ancient aunt who has so many wonderful stories to tell. Have a voice or video recorder handy and find a quiet part of the home were you can capture some wonderful memories of Thanksgivings past. Here are some questions to get you started.
- What was your most memorable Thanksgiving? Where was it? Who was there? What was happening?
- What do like most about Thanksgiving?
- How has Thanksgiving changed over the years?
- What does Thanksgiving mean to you?
- How was Thanksgiving celebrated when you were a child?
Make this Thanksgiving memorable by taking the time to unlock and record remembrances of Thanksgivings past.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory? I’d love to hear from you.
Photo by Marlene
Categories: Audio recording · Holidays · Life stories · Preservation · Video production
Tagged: Holidays, memories, Preservation, recording, Thanksgiving
Vanessa Thorpe writing an article in The Observer in London warns that:
A virulent infection is destroying the audio and videotapes once used to capture important moments of family life and great historic events. The fungal blight, or ‘tape mould’, has already ruined thousands of miles of audio and video tape in Britain and, according to specialist restorers, much more is likely to be deteriorating, unobserved, in storage. The infection of VHS cassettes and of the audio cassettes popular in the 1980s and 1990s is increasing at an alarming rate.
Here are some tips on preventing the spread of mould.
- Look for a fine white dust.
- Don’t play the damaged tape.
- Don’t place mouldy tapes near other newer tapes.
- Thoroughly wash your hands after handling an infected tape.
- Keep tapes in a dark, dry place away from heat.
Categories: Audio recording · Preservation · Tips · Video production
Tagged: audio tape, mould infection, Preservation, prevention, videotape