Record the Present to Preserve the Past

Christmas is coming and you’ll be looking forward to getting family and friends together to celebrate. But what’s the best way to record the festivities? Where can you record your event and know you will have it for future generations to look back on with nostalgia?

Are you just going to trust that facebook will continue for ever? Hoping that everything posted up there will always be available to share and enjoy? The prospect doesn’t look good with the number of platforms that have come and gone in the relative short time of the digital world. Take Friends reunited as an example.

Are you just going to rely on the cloud to save all your images and video? What happens when you swop between computer types or broadband suppliers?

It strikes me that the only safe option is still to have possession of your media yourself, a hard or soft copy stored at your own premises has still got to be the safest way forward of securing your past for future review.

How many times do you go back and look at digital images? I suggest very little. But there is now so much media we all posses how can we ever store it in any other fashion?

Here’s a suggestion that some people have found works well. Every year produce a year book. Assemble it online from the best of all your pictures each year and have it printed as a book. Preferably hard backed for long life. Include your major events, holidays and trips out. Include family shots around the house that shows your circumstances and décor. Include shots with your current vehicles and friends.

record 2 Include your current vehicle[/caption]

All these suggestions might seem banal now while you are assembling but trust me in time they will become a treasure trove of information and a memory jog for the future.

By putting things into a book format you are immediately committing information to a format that will survive whatever changes the digital world may bring . You’ll have a life record that future generations will value and treasure. The further we get away from the past the greater value of the information that would have been recorded in the present.

In a book there is space to write notes, title images with dates and names and write longer descriptions of events. It’s amazing that what you can remember of a holiday vividly when you just get home soon becomes vague memories as the years pass.

If you want to make your life library truly interactive add a small hard drive to each years book and include digital files. For best archiving potential save each video file named as the date as well as a title. If you write the date backwards just as numbers it will always list in date order – eg. 20161121Party would be a good file name for a party on the 21st of November 2016.

record 1
Include Holiday memory jogs

These days you could just include a small SD card in a sleeve in the back of the book – with 64GB cards available and bigger the storage of video files can be very compact.

The important thing is to start saving information now, it’s never too late to start, but it’s always best the sooner you can. If you are due to have a baby this coming year start planning now to record the life. Imagine the joy you could provide to your off spring if at their 21st birthday you could present them with 21 books of their life so far!

My parents left me with boxes of old pictures in black and white and fading enprints. Few with any dates or location notes. By careful research I’ve managed to piece together many details and dates which I have put together as a book. I’ve had copies made for my children and now they have a hard copy of the past that is their heritage. The book becomes immediately accessible to those with no interest in the boxes full of pictures. The text I’ve assembled adds reality and depth to the images. My past will not get forgotten when I die.

If you want help assembling your past give me a call. I offer an archiving and assembly service for those who don’t have the time or skills to do it for themselves.

By Brian Russell
Copyright November 2016.