A Family Media Collection?..
The Digital Revolution
The Good of the Digital...
The Digital Era provides us with amazing capabilities to capture and record everyday moments and events, with no restrictions on storage and retrieval. We can take thousands of pictures & videos, across a multitude devices, with little thought about capacity. The technology is continually improving with better resolution photos and video, larger file transfer and LIMITLESS storage in THE CLOUD, with the promise of access to our data, uncorrupted FOREVER. It gives us the tools to save and view all of our information from anywhere, and there are so many useful apps to make media editing and other everyday tasks much easier to do.
So what's the problem? ....
The problem is that with these rapid advancements, some"new" technologies are also rapidly becoming obsolete. Digital cameras have already been largely replaced by smartphones. The photos we took with them may be scattered over a variety of SSD drives, USB flash drives, SD cards and scandisks.
While CDs & DVDs are considered "digital", they are rapidly becoming obsolete. CDs are "vintage", and not safe media storage options as they can easily become scratched & corrupted. DVDs are being replaced by Streaming services and have formats that are not editable. Even digital image formats are changing. Your phone pictures could now have a .heic file extension instead of the "universal" .jpeg.
With the ease of taking unlimited numbers of quality photographs & videos on our smartphones, that can be immediately backed up in the Cloud, it is not unusual for people to take thousands of photos every year. Our digital collections are becoming vast, and spread across different devices and storage media , remotely in the cloud, and on photo storage and social media sites.
Why does it matter?
Selecting items to include in a digital Family Story Collection is very challenging if you have to sift/swipe through reams of data, and that is even before adding in digitized ANALOG things. It becomes much easier when everything is digital and located in one place, sorted by time period, events and people.
What Is Analog Media?
Digital Photography took-off in the early 2000’s (CD with photos) with the introduction of digital cameras and solid state storage media. Before that we recorded our memories on various types of "film" (think negatives, slides, home movies and videos). Our, at least 20 year and older, analog collections can already be quite sizable. They may include such gems as grandma's vintage albums & other fragile memorabilia, movie film in their original metal cans, various videos (VHS & cassettes) and old photographs glued into scrapbooks, stored in photo albums or stuffed in old shoe boxes.
What are the Issues?
The problem with old media is that it is very susceptible to deterioration. Sunlight, heat and humidity can be particularly damaging. Paper can get torn and stained, very old paper can even crumble and ink will fade. Photographs can be stained from fingerprints, and solvents. They can get folded, creased, or torn, scratched and speckled with dust and debris. Film shrinks over time and will be damaged if run through a projector. Oils from our fingers breakdown the cellulose in negatives. Tapes warp and curl and get caught up in recorder heads. Vintage collections can be particularly fragile and need special care.
What's in your collection?
Loose photos stored in old shoe boxes, plastic tubs or still in their developing envelopes
Scrapbooks - with photos & other materials - that are falling apart
Magnetic "sticky albums" from the 70's & 80"s made with chemicals that are ruining instead of protecting the photos
Slides & negatives inherited from your parents, with no means of viewing them
Home movies & videos that you can't watch because you no longer have a projector, or video camera to view them with?
Are most of these stored in your attic, basement or garage?