Ways To Preserve Your Family History
You don’t have to be the scion of an old-money dynasty to have a family history worth preserving. The snapshots of dance recitals, the tapes of first birthday parties, and the books that pass through the generations all compose an estimable family lore—one that you should do your part to maintain as technology changes and the passing of time slowly wears away the paper and plastic of our tangible reminders. Here are three ways to preserve your family history against that passing of time.
Transfer Your Home Videos
Remember the days of those hefty, over-the-shoulder camcorders? Every Christmas morning and birthday party truly felt like a special occasion when the camera crew, as it were, was there. Of course, with VCRs long past extinct, it’s hard to share those memories through the generations. You probably have stacks of old home videos gathering dust, and if you don’t, your parents sure do. Now’s the time to digitize those family memories by transferring your videotapes to DVDs, USB drives, or even cloud storage. If you don’t have a working VCR to make the transfer yourself, look for local videography services or check with your public library.
Restore Old Family Books
Speaking of libraries, your family’s personal collection of books may be wearing down. Of course, e-commerce has made it so that you can have just about any book under the sun land on your doorstep, but that doesn’t account for the sentimental value and time-honored character of your family’s classic editions. Whether it’s your great-grandparents’ copy of the Bible or a collection of canonical literature, good handiwork and the right supplies can turn back the clock for the oldest books on your shelves.
Compile Your Photos
If you’re like most families, many of the big three-ring-binder photo albums you bought with the best intentions lie just as empty as they were when you bought them. Meanwhile, the photos you intended to fill them with never made it out of the envelopes you got back from the developer. Those envelopes, in turn, are packed like sardines into a series of shoeboxes or a big plastic bin. It’s forgivable—life gets away from us, and it’s easy to put off doing custodial work on our photo collections. That said, properly archiving those moments and memories is one of the best ways to preserve your family history. Now’s the time to finally commit those packets of photos to their dedicated albums. If you have the entire weekend free, maybe it’s time to take the leap and start digitizing them so that far-flung family members can access them anytime, anywhere.