This past July my family celebrated our heritage by gathering for a family reunion. My Dad had the idea of putting together a short video demonstrating how drastically farming practices and equipment have changed through the years. What we originally planned as a short 3-5 minute video, became more of a love story for the family farm. We wanted to share what it feels like to be a part of a family farm. The fun, the toys, the work. This video travels through the decades giving each era a moment to shine. Beginning at its inception in the 1930s watch the farm evolve into the modern operation it is today.
This video isn’t perfect, as video is not my expertise, but I’m happy with the turnout! We watched it as a group at our family reunion this past Saturday and there were lots of tears and laughs. The grit and determination of our ancestors do not go unnoticed.
I’m sharing this, because if you are considering putting some time into your family history – farming or not – just do it! You won’t regret it. Here are a few things that helped me persevere and digitize content:
VIDBOX Video Conversion
- Use this device to connect an old VCR to your computer to digitize old VHS tapes. So easy to use, and worth every penny!
- For better video quality, also order this cord to go with:
- I did not buy this, decided to just go with LegacyBox for the slides. But if you have a lot of slides, this would be a great option in my opinion.
- Use an actual scanner for old photos if you can! The quality is much better than spending time trying to not get a glare taking a picture of a picture with your phone.
Label – Label – Label
- Write on the back of photos along the way as you identify what they are. Label VHS tapes, letters, photos, and digital files. Somebody in the future will thank you!
- I try my best to label all my digital files in the following format: month.day.year_description (my description often includes name, event, action, or location or all four) When I print my photos at Mpix, the digital file name prints on the back of the photo, so if my digital files are named properly the physical copies will be labeled properly as well.
- Container Store Photo & Craft Storage Carrier This product comes in many shapes and sizes, and is helpful for organizing loose-leaf photos, or ditching albums altogether. I label each individual box within the case to mark the decade and/or category. https://www.containerstore.com/s/iris-16_case-4%22-x-6%22-photo-and-craft-storage-carrier/d?q=photo%20organization&productId=11004246
- Send in VHS tapes, reels, and slides if you don’t want to do it yourself, they do it for you.
I learned so much while working on this project. I’m far from done and will continue to dive into the family history when my time allows. Do you have any tips about preserving family history? Leave your suggestions in the comments, I would love to hear them!