I happened to see the last part of the last episode of the 2018 series “Call The Midwife”. It had a cine film running, projecting old images onto the screen. Vanessa Redgrave plays Jennifer Worth, the writer whose real-life stories formed the basis of the show. She says:
We flicker on a screen.
We fold and unfold upon the minds eye.
Brittle as wings.
Eternal as a heart beat.
And even when the heart falls silent.
We do not cease to be.
Because in the end…. We all become memories.
Mouldy video tapes – I often get video tapes to digitise that have not been stored that well, e.g. in a loft or garage. But even video tapes that have been stored in a cupboard in the house can be a problem. Decades of sitting in a home environment, which can have relatively high moisture levels, can still mean that they can get covered in small white deposits. These deposits are mould forming on the edge of the tape itself. Basically you will have mouldy video tapes.
White areas are mould on video tapes
The problem in this situation is that when the tape is played (or fast forwarded on the reel) it gets stuck to itself and so rips. This makes that part of the tape unplayable. If things have been left too long, it is not possible to play the tape. Therefore, all those precious family memories are lost forever.
I am often asked “Why have your precious family videos and photos digitised?” Below are the main reasons I see:
Video tapes degrade constantly losing quality, eventually becoming unplayable.
Photos can fade in sunlight over the years.
Slides and Negatives can easily get lost or misplaced.
All of these can be lost, stolen or damaged by theft or accident.
Once digitised there is no further degradation in quality.
Digitised precious memories can be copied easily for family/friends to enjoy.
Digitised precious memories, once copied and stored “off site” are protected.
Digitised files can be shared easily using email, CD, DVD, USB or Network drives.
You can declutter your home by safely storing away all those video tapes, photos, negatives, slides, records, cassettes, CDs, DVDs etc.
Digital files can be streamed to your TV to enjoy in comfort without a PC.
You don’t often see articles about old “VHS tapes” theses days, but here is one from Peter Aspden in Saturday’s Financial Times, saying that “Videotapes, as I have found to my cost, disintegrate. Images become blurred, then disappear altogether” This is why everyone should get all their precious video memories, that are still on old video tapes, digitised. The whole article can be read here http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/aea9f1f2-c100-11e1-853f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1zN2hGkdf