Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Progress: Archiving Photos and VHS Tapes

Well, I am still progressing, ever so slowly, with my archiving project. I am rather proud of myself because I am very much a "starter". I have loads of enthusiasm and motivation when I begin a project and generally find that I don't like to finish up what I've started because the "newness" of it has worn off! To date I have endured watching a total of 17 tapes! Mind you that some of these are probably 8 hour tapes! Here's the breakdown:

5 - Christopher Lowell
2 - Room by Room
2 - History Channel
4 - HGTV
1 - Football
1 - Blank tape
1 - Cheerleading competitions
1 - Sci-Fi Channel

So far, I haven't found any of the home movies or televised video of my family to actually capture from the tapes. In other words, I am not recording all of these shows to DVD. I'm only playing all of them to search for those key pieces I wish to record. Also, I learned of a neighbor's elderly mother who still records her TV shows on VHS and I was happy to donate my old ones after I viewed them! LOVE THAT! ReCyClInG at it's best!

My stepdaughter's mother also gave her a box of VHS home movies and I started converting those to DVD for her. So far, I've converted four.

Not bad, I'd say, as my pile is getting noticeably smaller! The downside to this, which turned out to be a good thing in the end, is that I find myself anchored to my desktop computer. I did manage to get quite a few tasks caught up at the beginning and then ran out of things to do. So, also part of my archiving project (which is why it turned out to be good), I started scanning photos to digital. I have a bookshelf of many photo albums which I attempted to archive many years ago.  These are those chunky mini albums about 4" x 6" in size but thick.

After educating myself on the "proper" way to do this since then, I realized my first attempt was ALL WRONG! The books themselves were not archival quality. Although they are labeled, there is no index to speak of for quick retrieval. And I really would like a uniform look to all my photo books so they don't appear to have been bought at different periods of time.

The solution? Start scanning photos to digital! After learning I could "gang scan" photos, which I'll cover in another post, I started whizzing through the pictures. I already have one and a half albums completed! I also purchased archival page protectors and books from Light Impressions.

I'll try to write more about my process and hopefully that will inspire you to get started archiving your own photos and videos. Also if you have any questions I might be able to answer, just leave me a comment.

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Schleier
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