What should I do with old home-movie films that have been digitized?
Q. Dear Donia,
We found some old home-movie 8mm films from the 1950s in my husband's grandparents' house and had them digitized. We had several disks made and distributed to family members and also backed up the files on our computers. Is it still worth keeping the original films? My husband doesn't want to throw them away since they are the originals, but they are starting to smell like vinegar and I don't foresee ever getting a film projector to watch them. Also, because it is just for the family and not in an archive I don't think the originals are of any use. Thanks, Nicole
A. Dear Nicole,
This is a tricky question that institution's wrestle with as well. You have taken some good steps to ensure that the information is protected, and that is a great. It sounds like the original films may still have a sentimental pull for your husband, and simply throwing them out may be hard for him to do.
If I could propose a compromise, there are archival collections that collect family films, especially if they show specific regional events. You could check with local universities to see if the film would fit their collections, or you can contact the Center for Home Movies in Madison, Wisconsin. The Center acts as a clearinghouse for home movie collections, finding appropriate homes for potential donors. I hope that this option will help keep harmony in the house.