Paper or Digital? Choosing a Format for Time Capsule Items

Place photos in sleevesPreparing Photos – Digital vs Paper Formats

Q. What about preparing time capsule photos? Can we just put in a CD/DVD or a thumb drive, or do we need to print them out, too? And, if we print them out, what paper do we use? What ink?

When preparing time capsule photos, provide paper versions of your digital formats. It's natural to want to include digital versions of everything - they are small and cheap. But paper versions are better, because those who open the capsule in the future need no separate or special device to read them. Our current media reading devices are likely to change within just a few years (remember VHS tapes?). To preserve either paper or digital items, see our archival supplies and preservation kits.

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Secrets of Future Thinking Your Time Capsule Must Know

Time Capsule Keeper will remember the opening dateSecret Time Capsule Tips for Future Thinking

If you have never done a time capsule project before, how do you think about it?

Find out how by doing some ‘future thinking.’ Those who place time capsules plan someday for either themselves or someone else to open it once again to remember and to ponder the contents.

You'll think about timing. Popular timing goes 10, 25, 50, or 100 years or more in the future. It may be meaningful: sesquicentennial celebrants will choose 150 to match the year of celebration, or simply 50 so that the capsule can be opened at the bicentennial. Essentially, any time capsule is a snapshot of today as well as a gift for the future. You want the time capsule to last, your contents to survive in great condition, and use a plaque to make sure it's not forgotten in the future when you are not around.

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