National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has launched a new initiative aimed at helping black families preserve their history and analog audiovisual media with a unique digitization service, and it’s completely free!

The Great Migration Home Movie Project invites people to schedule an appointment with the museum’s audiovisual conservation team and have their home movies digitized in the Robert F. Smith Explore Your Family History Center, located on the second floor of the museum.

There, media conservators will help digitize motion picture film (16 mm, super 8 and regular 8 mm), obsolete videotape formats (Hi-8/8 mm, MiniDV, three-quarter-inch U-matic, VHS, Betacam, 1-inch open-reel video and one-half-inch open-reel video) as well as various audio formats.

The project has been made possible through the funding of Robert F. Smith and Earl W. and Amanda Stafford. Their donations have made preservation and access, which are at the heart of this initiative, possible.

In addition to the Great Migration project, NMAAHC has collected and preserved home movies from African-American families, both known and unknown. These personal narratives help to preserve pieces of African-American culture and history that were not captured by major motion pictures and television, which historically did not represent us. These films help to show pieces of black history that may otherwise not be seen or shown.

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This is an excellent opportunity for black Americans to contribute to our own living history and culture in a meaningful way.

For more information on the Great Migration project, visit the website.