Top Topics - Personal Digital Preservation

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Personal Digital Preservation

Podcast Notes (from TechTalk4Teachers)

April 30, 2012

Episode 131 TechTalk4Teachers

As you are crossing items off of your "To Do" list this summer, you may go beyond simply organizing that drawer of clippings and art projects your children created over the past 5 (or 15 in my case) years.  Or perhaps you are finally ready to tackle that plastic tub of unlabeled photographs that you inherited.  While it is commendable to tackle these jobs, why not take it a step further and digitize your personal primary sources to share with others now and in the future?  

A while back TPS EIU hosted a workshop for retired teachers who had embraced the use of Library of Congress digitized primary sources in their classrooms.  They now wanted to transfer this knowledge to their personal items to share with family and friends electronically and in print.  

Creating Digital Copies of Your Collected Photos, Documents and Keepsakes: Gather, Preserve, Present

1. What digitized resources are out there?
2. Establish Purpose
3. Gathering Artifacts (What should I collect?)
4. Preserving My Artifacts
5. Organizing 
6. Sharing 


Take the Library of Congress interactive PERSONAL ARCHIVING QUIZ!

There are three terms we should address up front.

1.  Born Digital items only exist in a digital format.  All of those photos on your camera or video on your camcorder have not been copied or converted from another format.  They entered this world electronically and what you do with them from that point is up to you.  Youtube?  Facebook?  Prints?

2.  Digitized items enter our lives in another format, usually print.  We then take a digital photo or scan the item.  This allows us to create multiple copies that we can share or preserve.

3.  There is a difference between digitizing and digital preservation.  Some people believe that once they scan a document or photo it is saved to a computer and they are done. That is a wonderful start, but this is a world of technology and format changes. Does anyone else still have home movies on VHS? 




The Library of Congress Digital Preservation Division offers help with this process.   The equipment that is available in your home or at the local library is unique, so be sure to read the instruction booklet or look for tips online regarding use.

How to Scan Your Personal Collections

How Long will Digital Storage Media Last? 



Personal Archiving: Preserving Your Digital Memories This information refers specifically to items that were BORN DIGITAL.  

Scanning Your Personal Collections


Keeping Personal Digital Photographs

Digital Photographs Guidance (PDF)

Transferring Photos from Your Camera to Your Computer (PDF)

Archiving Digital Photos (Watch video / Download 69 MB)

Adding Descriptions to Digital Photos: Your Gift to the Future (Watch video /Download 32 MB)


Keeping Personal Digital Audio

Digital Audio Guidance (PDF)

Archiving Digital Audio (Watch video / Download 126 MB)

Digital Video

Keeping Personal Digital Video

Digital Video Guidance (PDF, 291 Kb)

How to Transfer Video from Tape, DVD or Camera to Your Computer (PDF, 242 KB)

Keeping Personal Digital Records

You probably have resumes, school papers, financial spreadsheets, presentation slides or other digital documents. You might also have digital copies of original hard copy documents such as letters, maps or family histories.  Some of this information may have enduring value.  For this type of information it is important to decide which documents to save. Think about different versions, such as drafts and earlier copies. Drafts, for example, can provide important details that do not appear in final versions.

Host a Personal Digital Archiving Day in your community!

The Library has created a kit of resources to help you plan, organize, publicize and run an event.

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TPS EIU Calendar


Analysis Tools
(pdf or doc)