Getting Started: Preservation Guides for Your Personal Archive

Preserving Your History (Austin History Center)
A list of general Dos and Don’ts for personal archiving along with material-specific best practices for audio tapes, books and papers, digital photographs, CDs and DVDs, photographs, and video tape.

Preserving Your Digital Memories (Library of Congress)
A series of guides, videos, and other resources on how to create your own digital archive for your family materials. Includes how-tos on scanning, low-cost digitization solutions, and working with born-digital formats such as email, photographs, websites, audio, and video

A/V & Digital Archiving Resources from XFR Collective
Informational materials, tutorials, as well as other useful resources on basic video preservation.

Digitizing Family Papers and Photographs (National Archives)

Genealogy Basics Chapter Five: Digitizing and Storing Photos and Documents (My Heritage Blog)

DCPL Memory Lab’s Resources
The District of Columbia Public Library’s Memory Lab is a National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) project to create sustainable, public-focused lab, tools, and instruction for building public knowledge and skills around personal digital record keeping. Their resource list includes guides for taking care of physical and digital objects and where to find other libraries with Memory Labs. You can also follow some of their lab instructions with your own equipment at home or see slides from their trainings.

Preserve This Podcast!
Preserve This Podcast! is an Andrew W. Mellon grant-funded project hosted by the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) to help podcasters protect their work against the threats of digital decay. These resources contain helpful tips for preserving digital files in general, but especially audio files, including oral histories.

Social Control Zine
An easy-to-follow guide to saving your social media content. Check out more preservation zines at the Memory Lab’s virtual library:

Archival Supplies & Storage

Conservation Resources International,

Gaylord Archival,

Hollinger Metal Edge,

Light Impressions,

University Products,

Archival Methods,

Oral Histories & Family Interviewing

Conducting Oral Histories with Family Members (UCLA)
Tips and resources for preparing for a family oral history, including interview techniques, recording equipment, and sample questions

FamilySearch Memories & Family Tree Apps
These two free apps from FamilySearch allow you to record and incorporate oral histories into your own family tree

A digital platform (paid) that streamlines the process for any community to collect, preserve, and engage with the audiovisual stories of the individuals that make up their community.

Trauma-Informed Interviewing for General Audiences
Texas After Violence Project,
By learning to integrate trauma-informed interviewing practices into your work, you’ll reduce the risk of harm or re-traumatization for the people you interview, whether you are conducting interviews as part of an oral history project, academic research, activist work, or for the media (

Oral History Interviews (Library of Congress, The American Folklife Center)

Oral History Association Principles and Best Practices

Express Scribe Transcription Software

Disaster Response

Salvage Procedures (National Archives)
Guidelines for the care of some of the more common materials to be affected by a natural disaster or other emergency

Disaster Relief for Films in Flooded Areas (Association of Moving Image Archivists)

What I Would Have Done Differently to Save my Family History from Disaster

Episode 56: Disaster Preparedness for the Family Photo Archive

Find a Conservator

Should I share my family collection with an archive?

“Donating Your Family Archives” (blog post by archival consultant Margot Note)

Donating Your Personal or Family Records to a Repository
Society of American Archivists

Resource list developed by: Ayshea Khan, Tara Maharjan, Nicolette Khan, Amber Abbas, and Neel Agrawal