How to Prepare Your Materials for Digitization
Step One: Gather and Assess
The first step in any digitization project is to gather the materials you plan to have digitized. Priceless family keepsakes can be squirreled away in unlikely places. Have you ever used a photograph as a bookmark? Are your home movies mixed in with the children’s Disney VHS collection? Has your children’s artwork infiltrated every drawer in your home? Have you inherited a family member’s collection of film or slides? Once you see how much you have accumulated; you can pause, take a deep breath, and move on to step two.
Step Two: Sort and Label
Separate your materials into categories based upon format. Remove duplicates and determine which materials you want to preserve.
There are as many ways to personally organize your materials as there are subjects: by person, decade, year, event, or family. Use subject groupings that are uncomplicated. Contents can then be secured in separate envelopes or resealable plastic bags. We suggest labeling subject groupings with sticky notes so that we can name file folders in a way that is meaningful to you.
Step Three: Submit an Online Order Form
Check out our website to learn more about our processing options. Upon determining your preferences, submit an online order form. It helps if you indicate the following order details:
- which media formats you have for digitization
- an estimated quantity of your materials
- your desired file type; and
- output preference.
Example: 200 photos to JPEG files. Output preference to three USB flash drives. (Backup, backup, backup!)
Perhaps you’d like photo backs with descriptive handwriting also scanned or full frame captures of your 8mm film transfers. If you have any specifications for your digitization project, also note them on the order form.
Step Four: Prepare for Shipment
Upon submitting your online order form, you will receive a confirmation email. Please print the confirmation email and include it in your package. We suggest packaging your materials in a new, sturdy box with sufficient cushion material and shipping with a tracking number with the courier of your choice. We will let you know when your project is received and again when your project is complete.
We are fiercely protective and incredibly gentle with your personal collection. We take great pride in ensuring that you trust us with the physical representation of lifetimes’ worth of memories.
Step Five: Enjoy!
All of your original materials will be returned to you, along with your new digital media.
Now that your memories have been professionally digitized and preserved, it is time to share them with family and friends: host a 1960’s style slideshow-esque viewing party, include a USB flash drive in the care package you send to a loved one or surprise relatives at your next family reunion. There is always just cause to celebrate life – where we came from, who we were, and how we engage with future generations.