I often get the question “I want to get my family videos, photos, slides, audio tapes and home movies digitized. What do you recommend?”
Here’s my answer, written especially for rabid genealogists and family historians.
Go here if you want the short answer (with a great vendor resource).
If you’ve decided you don’t want to do it yourself, finding a digitizing service you trust can be confusing and stressful, especially if you have LOTS of stuff. Take a deep breath, you don’t have to do it all at once or all alone, but do start.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Place a priority on digitizing magnetic tapes (Translation: video cassettes, audio cassettes, and reel-to-reel audio tapes). Why? Those media do degrade over time, and more quickly than you might think. Experts (archivists with the U.S. National Archives) recommend NOT digitizing videotapes yourself.
According to the U.S. National Archives website, “magnetic tapes generally have a lifespan of about 10 to 50 years … somewhere in the middle is most common. Those stored under lesser conditions and not handled carefully will probably have a significantly shorter lifespan.”
So if you want to preserve those precious video moments of your kids as babies and toddlers, do not wait.
The U.S. National Archives website offers excellent information about finding vendors to digitize magnetic tape media here.
You can access more information from the National Archives about digitizing your other precious family images and papers here.
The U.S. National Archives preserves important records and historical documents, like the Declaration of Independence, so they know their stuff! (If you enjoy going down historical rabbit holes just go to archives.gov and have fun browsing around.)
Next step question:
What should I do after I get my family’s precious images digitized?
Answer: Be sure to share the images and the stories behind the pictures with short, engaging videos so your family will start asking questions about those funny looking people (their ancestors and yeah, YOU) and the amazing things those ancestors did.
Learn how to easily create videos and share them with your family with the fun, activity-filled Ancestors Alive On Video course, where I’ll guide you step-by-step through the process of completing a video you can share with loved ones. (Note the emphasis on “completing.” You will actually make a video. How cool is that!)
Actually, it’s not only a course. With Ancestors Alive On Video, you will get access to a whole community of people who feel just as passionate about researching family history and sharing it with the next generation.
Plus, if you act quickly, you will get a special bonus – a *FREE* 30-minute consult with me, Margaret Eves. I love tapping into my 20-plus years experience as a librarian, video editor, and professional genealogist to help others find and share their ancestor stories. I look forward to hearing your questions!
You will find creating and sharing genealogy videos to be rewarding and helpful in discovering and sharing your ancestral legacy. (Think “new genealogy clues” and “cousin bait.”)
Start today! Click here to learn more.