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Chicago, Illinois 60616
(312) 243-1808

How to Care for Your Home Movies

EASTER 1953 (from the Marquis Cring Collection)

Often, people shoot home movies and then decades later have forgotten about them. Over time these films can become damaged or brittle, but when properly preserved they can outlive videotapes and DVDs. Keep your original films in a cool, dry environment that doesn’t experience huge fluctuations in temperature (for example, be sure to avoid storing your films in basements, which are prone to flooding and high humidity). Or you can deposit your films with the Chicago Film Archives, where they will be cared for and preserved for educators, filmmakers and future generations to share.

Many people transfer their family movies to digital formats or DVD because they’re so much easier to view and share with others. CFA can transfer your films to DVD or other digital media. To find out more, go to our website’s Transfer Services page.

Digitizing your home movies does not mean you can throw your original films away! Your 8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm films are more durable and can last longer than video if you take care of them properly. It is important to preserve your original films for generations to come!