As part of the Al Larvick Conservation Fund mandate, we encourage the sharing of home and amateur audiovisual materials with one’s family, friends, community and society at large. The Fund does this by offering resources and ideas of ways to broaden the reach of these valuable social and cultural recordings. 

Your first step in making the most of your home movies, if they were recorded on analog materials, such as film or tape, is to get them digitally transferred onto a hard drive where you can access them through a computer. You should properly store your original analog films and tapes for safekeeping. ALCF recommends to always keep your original materials, but refrain from playing them. The less you project or play your analog recordings, the less chance there will be of damaging the original materials which are often fragile. Additionally, if anything happens to your digitally transferred files or the hard drive they are stored on, you can go back to your analog recordings and create new digital transfers. The digital files (in a "wrapper" such as  ProRes422, QuickTime, m4v, etc.) will allow you to copy, edit, project, play and upload your home and amateur works on a variety of players and platforms.

Please refer to our Resources page for links on film and video care, as well as data management. The Center for Home Movies is also an excellent resource for this type of information and more.


Preparation: To begin the process of sharing materials once your transfers are complete, ALCF suggests finding answers to most of these basic questions:

  • Who is depicted in these recordings?
  • Where do these recordings take place?
  • What time period(s) did these recordings take place in?
  • Do you know anything about the people captured in these recordings? What was going on in their lives at this time? (Starting a family, running a family business or farm, getting ready to go off to college, the service, etc.)
  • What else went on historically during this time period, both locally (where/when recordings took place) and nationally or globally?
  • Do you know who shot the film?
  • Whose house where they in?
  • Who did you get the films from? One or several family members?
  • Is there a family member who would record an oral history to accompany audiovisual material?