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  • Leah Cee

Archiving - Family History

One of the most important legacies you can leave your family is an uncluttered, easy to manage, interesting and permanent account of your ancestral history. More often than not, that could be in the form of photos, home movies, or like me, audio cassettes.

Many years ago I sat with my grandparents and hit record on a dictaphone and a cassette player and asked them a bunch of questions about their lives. It was one of the most fascinating and important things I ever did and wish I'd asked even more. In fact, I wish I'd recorded them on a video camera to capture their expressions and see their faces whilst they recounted their earliest and most vivid memories.

Consequently I was left with the task of transcribing the tapes which came with the added stress of potentially wearing the tape out with the constant rewinding, stopping and playing. Twenty five years after first recording these compelling stories, I still hadn't fully transcribed or had these stories backed up to a digital source, fearing I would damage the tapes and destroy the priceless contents within.

Thankfully, Brian from Concept Innovations Media in Adelaide, was able to run the tapes through his digitising software in a matter of hours and hand me the result in a tiny little 16GB USB.

The beauty of this process is that now I can share my Nana and Papa's stories with the extended family by simply uploading to Dropbox or similar program. I've reduced the amount of physical clutter, and the USB, although not indestructible, is somewhat more sturdy than the original tapes which are prone to wear, damage and are simply irreplaceable.

If you have important stories either on an outdated, superseded audio or visual source that should be shared with family and friends, do not hesitate to get them digitised. This is one of those "some day" projects that is too important to be delayed. Contact Brian via his facebook page if you're in Adelaide, or search, "digitising tapes" in your local area.

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