Family memories are an important part of our heritage and identity. These family memories can include old photos stuffed in shoeboxes, memories saved inside your grandparent’s heads, old family trees, or family heirlooms like antiques, china, jewelry, or vintage toys. Over time, family memories can disappear, deteriorate, or get destroyed unless they are preserved.
There are several great ways to preserve family heirlooms for future generations. Many people’s family memories are inaccessible on outdated film reels or stashed in dusty photo albums. It’s easy to convert 8mm to a digital format or create an online family photo album thanks to modern technology.
Check out these 5 creative ways to preserve your family memories.
1. Create Digital Photo Albums
Once you’ve dug family photos out of old albums, boxes, or maybe even grandma’s attic, it’s easy to preserve them in a couple of free or inexpensive ways.
- Install a safe app from the app store on your smartphone to turn individual photographs quickly and easily into a digital format.
- Try a scanner (typically available on most printer machines) to easily digitize big batches of photos from the comfort of your own home.
- Locate a trusted service provider and safely ship your family albums for bulk digitization.
You might also discover old family films that hold an archive of family memories. Keep old VHS family films from deteriorating or disappearing since this type of technology is fast to degrade and there just aren’t as many VHS players around anymore.
If you want to convert these home videos to a digital format, you can do this yourself by connecting a VHS player that works to a USB-to-video converter. There are also many places that will accept and digitize VHS tapes shipped in the mail.
Converting family films and photos to digital versions or an online photo album means that you’re able to save, edit, share, and preserve these memories forever. You can even quickly create a physical family photo album online and have it printed instead of printing individual photos and slipping them behind laminated pages.
2. Interview a Relative
Many of our best family memories are locked up in a relative’s head. Access childhood or older family memories from another perspective by interviewing your aging relatives.
This is a great and fun way to capture unique stories that give you a better picture of your family history.
Try an informal interview setting with a willing family member, write down your interview questions, and have a recording device like a smartphone or a free app like Remento that’s perfect for storytelling. Share, organize, and preserve your family’s stories for future generations in just a few minutes.
3. Write Your Family History
If you’re looking for a way to pass down your family history in a non-visual format, consider penning a memoir that can keep your family legacy alive.
If you’re already familiar with your family’s stories and have a flair for writing, consider pitching your idea to a publisher or self-publish online. You can also hire a ghostwriter or check out a writing service to get your family memories preserved on paper.
4. Pass Down Your Family Heirlooms
Many family heirlooms have a story or memory attached to them. A family heirloom can be anything special that’s kept and passed from generation to generation because family members appreciate the object, or it holds sentimental value.
Share these family heirlooms and preserve them for those who come after you by passing down these objects to family members who value their history. It’s also a good way to learn more about your family and connect older with younger generations.
5. Create a Visual Family Tree
A fantastic way to showcase and preserve your family memories is to design a visual family tree. You can share a digital family tree with relatives online or create a framed and personalized family tree print.
This is easier if a family member has already done the research to connect the different family branches. If you enjoy genealogy, you can track down relatives via an online genealogy service, check public records, or talk to older family members.
It can take a lot of time and research to fill in missing details, but a visual document of your family’s history is a rewarding and special way to preserve your family’s important heritage.
Don’t let your family memories disappear or fade into oblivion. Preserve and honor your special family heirlooms, history, and memories for your children and grandchildren by taking a few steps to digitize family photos, preserve physical heirlooms in shadow boxes or time capsules, or record elderly relatives’ memories.
Taking a little time to write down family stories and share them with the rest of the family via a memoir or family blog can help keep your family history alive for future generations.