Preserve Your Heritage

"Facts Get Recorded … Stories Get Remembered"

Stories

Ancestral Stories
It is those stories of our ancestor’s lives that we need to carefully preserve. Our ancestor’s also experienced their set of life challenges, resourcefulness, successes, along with their sad and lighter moments in their lives. It is those stories that we must preserve. Their life experiences can also strengthen us as we go through our own challenges in life.

Our Stories

We also have our own heritage, our life challenges and successes that we need to share with our posterity. We should be active in preserving our photographs, journals, home movies, and our thoughts and testimonies for our posterity to remember us by.

There are so many ways to preserve these things such as through scrapbooks, family blogs, family newsletters, etc. Just be sure that these forms media are going to be preserved for posterity to also benefit from them.

Photos

Photographs, slides, & negatives all begin to deteriorate over time. It is important to think about the process of preserving your visual heritage for your posterity.

There are several basic steps to consider in preserving media.

  1. Conversion: "digitalization" is getting the physical media into a digital format
  2. Editing: the ability to improve the quality of the original image
  3. Managing: strategies to store all the files in an organized way, and to ensure that the files are securely backed up regularly
  4. Sharing: digital photos are meant to be shared with immediate & extended family. What better way to tell an individual's story than by combining stories with photos

If you do not have a scanner, our library has a variety of scanners to help you digitize your photos, slides, and negatives. Please call ahead to make reservations for their use.

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Audio
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Audio recordings of our ancestors as they tell stories of their lives can be inspiring. These recordings become a part of them, and add to their legacy.

Can you imagine listening to a Danish great grandmother singing a primary song with her Danish accent?

Learn how to transfer audio recordings made on cassettes onto your computer. What a wonderful way of saving a digital file of your ancestor's stories in a shareable digital format! You can even load digital recordings up to 15 megabytes in size to Family Tree to share with others.

We can help you digitize and edit your audio recordings!

Videos

If you are one of the lucky few that has old video film of your grandparents or family, it is time to get this digitize. The technology (projectors) are becoming more difficult to find, and the cost to transfer to a digital format will only increase. At some point, conversion will no longer be possible.

Many families have VHS home movies of their family activities. The machines that can play these tapes are no longer being manufactured. Again, it's time to get these tapes digitized.

Our library currently has VHS machines and the software to convert the VHS home movies to a digital format. We can help you with this, as well as help with basic video editing skills to remove parts you may not want in the film, or to create shorter video clips.

Contact us to set up a time to help you with these.

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Documents

Our library has a document scanner that can scan double sided & multiple pages into a single PDF document that can then be uploaded into Family Tree. This is a very quick process.

If you are scanning your document files from a flatbed scanner this will result in multiple "photo" images. To best keep the single pages together and in sequence, this can be done with PDF software. However, simply dropping the images into a Word file can also be a great option to assemble all the single pages into a single file.

Organize

Keeping all those digital files organized can be quite a chore. Thousands of photographs, hundreds of movie and audio clips will take up a LOT of hard drive space. How are your media files organized? Are you storing them on numerous USB Flash devices? (NOT a good thing) Where do you store them? Are the USB Hard Drives well labeled?

Backup

I find that the majority of us tend to procrastinate the backup process. "I'll do it tomorrow". It is not an issue of "IF my computer hard drive crashes", but "WHEN it crashes". I had a new hard drive crash within the first month of use. Storage devices wear out and have to be replaced often.

• Have you developed a plan to keep your files always backed up?
• Is it an automatic backup?
• Have you checked to see that the backup service is actually backing up? (the system services can just shut off)
• What if your computer and backups are stolen, or destroyed in a fire or flood?
• Do you have an offsite backup?
• Do you have a family member that is responsible to be the "backup person" in your family? How are you going to make sure that the photos continue to be maintained after you are gone?