Technology has come a long way in the past few decades and many households are struggling to keep up. If your family owned a large video recorder that rested on your shoulder or a point-and-shoot camera that needed to be dropped off at the One Hour Photo, you might have some types of old media formats that needs to be updated.
Look through your family memories to see if you have piles of cassette tapes, film rolls, albums, and scrapbooks that document your lives as you grow up. If you have stored these items for decades, they might have already started to fade.
It’s time to get digital. Digitizing family memories can preserve them in usable formats for the next several years. However, you need to scan them before it’s too late. Here are six types of old media to digitize either yourself or through a professional photo and slide scanning service if you want to preserve your family history.
1. Loose Photos
In the 1970s, One Hour Photo booths popped up in parking lots across America. Film rolls were at their cheapest and Americans started taking more photos and paying for prints throughout the 80s and 90s. If this sounds familiar, you might have several boxes filled with envelopes of your printed film rolls. Some of these photos might be 40 years old – or older.
Most photos are meant to last 40-70 years and can be preserved to last even longer. However, this is only when the prints are cared for and kept away from sunlight and moisture. Over the years, your photos will start to stick together and they could be ruined when they’re pulled apart.
Loose photos are the first type of old media format to digitize in your home. Sort through your old boxes and make sure these memories are protected.
2. Photo Albums
As more Americans were able to buy cameras and pay for film development, they needed a way to curate their photos. Remember, this was before the digital era, so 30 developed photos might produce 10 good images. The rest were blurry, repetitive, or covered by someone’s finger. The photo album market took off so people could preserve their best photo memories and look at them in one book.
While these photos might be well-protected, the albums are bulky. One photo album might only hold 50-100 images depending on its size, enough to preserve one event or a year of memories.
The main benefit of sending old media formats to digitize to our team at Memory Fortress is that you can save space in your home. You can eliminate the need to hold onto dozens of physical albums because you will have digital ones online.
When stored in perfect condition, photo negatives can last 50 years or more. However, old memories are rarely stored and handled in ways that are meant to last. The oils on your fingers can cause the film negatives to break down, which means handling them can cause wear and tear. Dust and dirt can also scratch the negatives while mold can eat away at them. Even if you have stored your film negatives in a box, they might already have broken down to the point where they are unusable.
There are two reasons to send us your videotapes if you are collecting old media formats to digitize: they are delicate and they are bulky. The video film from these tapes will start to break down after a decade. This means precious footage – like your wedding vows – could be lost over time.
These tapes also take up a lot of room. If the average camcorder tape can only fit an hour or two of footage, you might have hundreds of tapes from over the past few decades. These likely fill your cabinets and drawers in your living area, along with other VHS tapes and DVDs.
There’s a bonus reason to ensure your family videotapes get digitized: very few people have access to the right technology to play the footage. Fewer homes than ever have VHS players and it’s hard to find replacement cables to hook your camcorder to the TV. Upgrade your tapes to a digital format that can be viewed on any computer or smartphone.
If you have generations of family memories saved, you might have slides that contain photos from various events and excursions. You can view these slides by holding them up to the light or by playing them through a projector. Few people own slide projectors anymore and these photos are hard to view. You can’t easily toggle ahead of different images as if you were swiping through a phone.
Our team can handle your slides, just like any old media format to digitize. Send us your carousels, long trays, loose slides, or any other boxes of memories you have so we can scan and save them.
Digital scanning projects aren’t just for individual photos and videos. You can also preserve the memories you curated through scrapbook scanning. With this process, our team carefully opens each page of your scrapbook and scans it in full color. This way you preserve your photos, ticket stubs, notes, stickers, and other key memories from your scrapbooking efforts.
You might not think about scrapbooks as another type of old media format to digitize, but these are still memories and crafts that are important to preserve. Scanning your scrapbooks now can help you in case you need to move without them or in the event an accident (like a burst pipe or house fire) destroys them.
Send Old Media to Digitize to Memory Fortress
Most households have more than one type of old media format they need scanned and preserved. You might have a collection of albums, negatives, slides, and tapes that all need to be transferred to a digital format. You don’t have to turn this process into a large project. Instead, box up all of your old media and send it to Memory Fortress. We can handle almost any format and convert your photos and videos into digital files.
Start your order today and take the first steps to preserve family memories for generations to come.
Michael B. – “Our large digital photo scanning job was handled with great care from start to finish. Keith and his team stayed in constant communication throughout the process. I will be using Memory Fortress for our future projects.”
We digitize everything right here at our facility in metro Atlanta, processed by US citizens.
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