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Gift Idea No. 8: Organizing – and Digitizing – Your Collection of Family Home Videos

November 25, 2012

Does this sound familiar?

Flickr photo by Auntie P

You’ve got some home videos of your family.

A lot of them.

As many of you know from reading this blog, most of these VHS, VHS-C or Hi-8 tapes are a ticking time bomb. Because the material is recorded on magnetic tape, they have a life of no more than 20 to 30 years.

Obviously, digitizing them is a top priority. And the effort would make a wonderful holiday gift for all your loved ones.

The trouble is that there are so many of them and you’ll wind up with a mish-mash of DVDs that lack anything but basic information, such as what  year they were filmed and perhaps where.

Which video has Little Ricky’s first steps? Which one includes that holiday concert where Meghan played that beautiful clarinet solo? Where can you find your brother’s wonderful toast at your parents’ anniversary party?

You simply won’t remember unless you stick every DVD in your player and fast forward through the proceedings.

Each and every time you want to see that scene.

Unless you get a little help from Priceless Photo Preservation.

As an Ann Arbor-based partnership of professional archivists, we are all about not only preserving memories – but also making them useful again. So we offer a unique service for all collections that include seven or more videotapes.

At no extra cost, we will create a basic finding aid for your collection. You will get what amounts to a spreadsheet, listing the title of the tape, how long it lasts, what year it was filmed (if available) – and, most importantly, a large blank box on the right side.

That way, as you are watching the videos, you can make a note of special moments that each tape/DVD contains. That way, when you pull them out again to show to people or rewatch them, you will  be able note for posterity what special moment is on which DVD.

We will also give you the finding aid as a Microsoft Word document – in case the boxes get too crowded with your writing and/or you want to expand the finding aid with all the additional information you collect.

No other company does this. Why? Because we are different from the rest.

Yes, we care about preserving your collection by digitizing the videos. But we also believe the conversion isn’t just about creating a collection of DVDs – but creating meaningful DVDs that make all of your family’s most precious memories instantly available and findable.

Of course, any of our services are available as a gift. Any service you choose to purchase, we can provide to your friends on your behalf.

As always, if you are interested, drop us a line at  or call us at 734-219-3916. We offer pickup and drop-off service throughout southeast Michigan and northwestern Ohio. We work with photos, slides, films, videos and even family photo albums and scrapbooks. We are now serving the Grand Rapids area as well with the same services.

Stay tuned for our next gift suggestion on Tuesday.

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