Texans have recorded their lives on home movies since the 1890s, but films and videotapes are fragile and impermanent. Many people underestimate the cultural and historical value that their home movies contain as a record of events of the time. Now that many of the old media formats are obsolete, the films and their content often remain long forgotten or lost completely.
Fort Bend County Libraries, in partnership with the Fort Bend Museum and the City of Sugar Land, is participating in the Texas Archive of the Moving Image’s (TAMI) Texas Film Round-Up project to rescue these moving images and showcase their unique contribution to the state’s cultural history. The Round-Up project provides FREE digitization services for any Texas-related films and videotapes.
Fort Bend County residents who would like to have their home movies digitized can bring their films to one of three drop-off points – George Memorial Library in Richmond, the Bob Lutts Fulshear/Simonton Branch Library, and the City of Sugar Land City Hall – between March 16 and 26, during regular business hours.
Through a partnership with the Texas Film Commission, Texas Film Round-Up provides free digitization for Texas films and videotapes, including home movies, industrial films, educational films, advertisements, local television, and other films in an effort to preserve Texas media heritage. To qualify for free digitization, the film reels or videotapes must be Texas-related (shot in Texas, shot by a Texan, or the subject matter is about Texas), and participants must be willing to donate a digital copy of their materials to TAMI’s archive. Participants retain the copyright to their materials, but must be willing to grant TAMI and the Texas Film Commission a license to use a copy in the Archive.
Once the films are collected from the drop-off points, TAMI will take them to the TAMI offices in Austin. They will inventory the films and videotapes, provide minor cleaning and repairs if necessary, and digitize the material. The original materials, along with the digitized files, will be returned to the owner when the process is complete. Because of high demand, the entire process can take up to five months.
TAMI also collects copies of films that are already digitized so that the historical treasures can be added to the Archive, becoming a part of Texas history.
The Texas Archive of the Moving Image is a non-profit agency that works to discover, preserve, provide access to, and educate the community about Texas’s film heritage. By partnering with institutions and individuals across the state, TAMI digitizes and provides web access to thousands of moving images that offer insight into Texas history and culture. More than four thousand of these films are available to view on the TAMI website, www.texasarchive.org.
George Memorial Library is located at 1001 Golfview in Richmond, the Bob Lutts Fulshear/Simonton Branch Library is located at 8100 FM 359 South in Fulshear, and the City of Sugar Land City Hall is located at 2700 Town Center Blvd North in Sugar Land.
For more information, call the library system’s Public Information Office at 281-633-4734.