As Southern California deals with the aftermath of record-breaking rainfall, two things are becoming clear: the drought is over (for the time being), and lots of people are dealing with water damage.
Water damage is the number one cause of loss for home insurance claims. Of course, flooding is not the only way the contents of your home can be damaged by water. Broken or cracked water pipes, a damaged washing machine hose, even an ice maker on the fritz can ruin your day, not to mention your floors and your furnishings.
But flooding from a natural disaster is a particularly traumatic event to deal with. We have all seen the heartbreaking images on television of distraught families and their lovely homes completely ruined by flood water and mud flows. Financial hardship aside, it is an event that can have a lasting impact on the emotional well-being of those affected. Time and time again, when you hear their stories, the loss of priceless family photos and memorabilia is one of the things that causes a surprising amount of grief in the face of this overwhelming disaster. Continue reading
We have talked about preserving home movies, videos and old photographs by transferring them to more technologically up-to-date formats in two previous posts (Part I and Part II). But there is one more important consideration: when reformatting family memories, you should be aiming for two goals: viewable copies and archival copies. Which is to say, if you scan your old photographic prints so you can email them to family members or look at them on your phone, that’s great – but don’t get rid of the original photographic print or negative, because that is your archive. Continue reading
In a previous post, we talked about digitizing home movies and video, and how best to store the original media. In this post, we will discuss your photographs, particularly those taken in the pre-digital age.
Just about everybody has a few shoeboxes full of old family photos and negatives. It can be positively overwhelming to even get started when faced with a disorganized jumble of hundreds of family photos, but cardboard, wood, and many plastics give off gases that will damage your photographs, so it really is worthwhile to set up a system that will preserve your old photos and negatives, and that will preserve your sanity as you move forward with your digital collection.
Take a deep breath and dive in. You will be glad you did. Here are a few steps to help you along the way: Continue reading
If you have a storage unit, chances are, buried in one of those boxes are some old home movies. Maybe they are on VHS tape, or Super 8, or maybe you even have some reel-to-reel family heirlooms from the 1940’s or ’50s. You could do worse than keeping them in a closed, air-conditioned environment – but you could do better, too.
You might want to consider a transfer process that will allow you to preserve and pass along those priceless memories. But wait a minute, you say, every five to ten years there’s a new format. What good did it do me to transfer my Dad’s reel-to-reel movies to VHS back in 1995? Now I’m stuck with another outdated format. Continue reading