Legacybox: all your memories, digitized

And now a break to talk about a sponsor…

Do you have a bunch of non-digitized photos and old VHS tapes laying around that you have vague ideas of converting to digital at some point, but have never bothered to actually do it? And meanwhile, your footage of your parents’ wedding or your sixth-grade talent show performance or your sister’s prom preparations are all sitting in your basement, unwatchable, while their quality degrades with each passing year?

You need Legacybox – a mail-in service that will do it for you. Legacybox is an all-in-one mailed kit for converting your recorded moments into shareable, digital files.

Here’s how it works: Legacybox sends you a crush-proof box. You gather everything you want digitized – videotapes, audio tapes, film, photos, slides, camcorder reels – whatever you have. You label each item with an individual, bar-coded sticker that they provide, so that everything can be tracked and nothing gets lost. Then you send it back, with their pre-paid shipping label. It’s really simple.

If you are feeling anxious about having shipped off your priceless memories, they give you a personal concierge so that you can check on the status of your order at any time. And Legacybox digitizes everything by hand to make sure it’s all done carefully and with real quality. I took comfort in knowing that they’ve been around 10+ years, they don’t outsource the digitization process, and they’re experts in handling valuable, fragile materials.

A few weeks later, you receive your originals back, along with DVDs. As an add-on option, you can also order a thumb drive to make it really easy to load and share your videos from your computer. You upload, you play, you gawk at your old-timey footage. If you’re like me, you show your 11-year-old niece footage of your mom in a bikini and pigtails in her early 20s, and your niece is shocked to discover that people other than she had a youth and a time without wrinkles. You feel old but amused. (Old but amused is pretty much my permanent state now.)

You should try Legacybox! And if you use code MANAGER at check-out, you’ll receive 40% off your order.

And just for fun, I’ll share this: I took a bunch of old family footage (late 60s) and condensed it down to this. I especially like the clip of my sister as a baby crawling straight into the ocean with no one stopping her.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Legacybox. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

{ 37 comments… read them below }

  1. JJ*

    “I especially like the clip of my sister as a baby crawling straight into the ocean with no one stopping her.” Bahahaha…..

  2. fposte*

    Oh, I’ve been looking for something like this–or, more accurately, thinking about looking for something like this.

    Notes for the interested: they do film, from 8 mm to 16 mm with various flavors in between, and they do just about every tape format including Betamax. They also do auto.

    Alert: I may have burned my discount just by giving them my email when looking–it only lasts for half an hour.

    1. CollegeAdmin*

      I remember my folks once mentioning that they had some old footage of when they first bought and renovated our house back, but that it was all in an uncommon format that they couldn’t watch…I want to say it was Betamax. Oh man, if that’s it, this could be an awesome Christmas present!

      Thanks fposte for mentioning Betamax, and thanks Alison for posting this service!

      1. fposte*

        They list the formats, so it’s easy to check–just don’t put in your email until you’re ready to pull the trigger or you’ll waste the discount codes.

    2. Anon for this*

      SO EXCITED that they do Betamax. We have lots of stuff on Beta that is irreplaceable, and so many of these services don’t do it. We have a recorded-off-the-air version of Goodbye Mr. Chips the BBC did back in the early 80s that has never been released since, and it’s my Mom’s favorite movie EVER. She’d die if I did this for her.

      1. fposte*

        They may not convert that due to copyright issues–a lot of places wouldn’t. So do check with them on that before paying.

        (Is that the Roy Marsden one? I remember that.)

        1. Anon for this*

          Yup, it’s the Roy Marsden one. Luckily, it’s addressed in an FAQ, and yes, you can legally make one copy as personal backup. So they’ll do it! Which means I could include my high school production of South Pacific as well (we had a company come in and film the final night).

          There’s Mother’s Day sorted. :)

          1. fposte*

            Oh, brilliant–I didn’t dig deep enough to see that. Maybe I’ll need to buy another package :-).

    1. miki*

      I actually bought that portable scanning wand, brought it overseas, did some 20 photos and left it there. I wish my photos were closer, this would be an excellent way of preserving them (some go all the way to 1900s). I guess I know what I’ll be doing on my next visit home.

  3. Kyrielle*

    I digitized family photos some years back, but this…this would bring in a few things that haven’t been done…like my Aunt Polly’s amazing vocal performances, only on standard tape…yikes.

  4. Arjay*

    I haven’t used Legacybox, but I just took a peek at the website. I really appreciate businesses that make their pricing clear, obvious, and easy to find. I may have to take a look at the random VHS tapes I have and see what’s worth preserving. I don’t know if I’m ever going to look at my high school graduation ceremony again, even if it is digitized. But my skydive video should be a keeper.

    1. Elysian*

      I have some high school marching band VHSes that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with now that I don’t have a VHS player… this sounds like the answer!!

  5. Stella Maris*

    This sounds like a great service, but sadly it (like so many things, like Trader Joe’s sea salt and turbinado sugar chocolate covered almonds) isn’t available in Canada. Sigh.

    1. Carrington Barr*

      I noticed that.

      Please be aware, everyone, that Legacybox does not provide service outside of the continental US.

    2. oldfashionedlovesong*

      I can’t help but change the subject because I really wanted to let you know… Costco in the US sells those (in an deliciously enormous bag, naturally) under their Kirkland brand. Maybe Costco in Canada stocks them too!

    3. knitchic79*

      Those things are like crack. On the strict do not buy if you don’t want to cringe at the scale for two weeks list. I would be happy to send YOU some if I knew how to arrange such a thing though.

  6. Special Snowflake*

    Such perfect timing- we were just looking at doing this for about 80 years of pictures and slides.
    Anyone who has tried it, was there anything you didn’t like about the process? Is this easier/more convenient than paying someone to scan decades worth of pictures onto something like flickr to preserve for our whole family? I saw that the largest box goes up to about 500 photos /slides so we would certainly need to do a couple of them.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Since I just did it, I’d be glad to answer any questions you have about it! I thought it was incredibly easy — you literally just put all your stuff in the box with their labels on each item, and that’s it. It all went very smoothly.

      I’d definitely recommend getting the thumb drive add-on option if your computer doesn’t take DVDs though, since that makes it a lot easier to load stuff straight on to your computer once you get it back.

      1. Nickibee*

        Do you have to barcode each picture individually? Or do they give you a way to group them in bundles of 25 and barcode the packet?

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          You can put them in a plastic bag and then just barcode the bag (so one barcode for the whole group of photos). I think it’s limited to 25 photos per bag, but that’s much easier than having to do each photo individually!

      2. Special Snowflake*

        Thanks! DVDs would definitely be a no go- I’m not sure they would ever come out of the case to be honest. We have primarily photos and slides not videos which makes our calculations harder.
        If you were faced with the option of at least 2 boxes of the largest size vs paying someone about $1000 flat to scan them into a flash drive/file sharing site would you still pick this?

  7. Victoria, Please*

    Alison, you find the best stuff! And can I just say, fabulous job with the home video — you know it’s special if someone *else’s* movie makes you smile and tear up at the same time!

  8. Noah*

    Oh wow, I knew services like this exist but I haven’t ever really looked for one. I think I’ll buy one for myself to convert the VHS tapes I have of high school and college theater performances along with important hockey games I played in. I haven’t been able to watch them in a long time since no one has a VCR anymore. I’m not 100% sure I’ll sit and watch them, but I know I enjoy watching old family movies and stuff. I would hate for everything to be lost because of format issues.

    I’m also considering one for my mom as a Christmas present. She has boxes of photos she wants to digitize and share. Most are from my grandmother, who passed away in 2004, so it has been a long term project. She has made significant progress, but I know it is time consuming for her to sit and scan each one.

  9. B-Bam*

    Fantastic – I have a giant Rubbermaid container filled with VHS tapes of family footage. If only I knew which tapes contained the things I really want to preserve such as the homemade rock music videos circa 1987 that the family did out of small town and winter boredom.

  10. Wendy*

    We did Legacy with some family movies we had on VHS, for my mom’s 80th birthday last year. It was easy, and it turned out fantastic!

  11. LisaG*

    Any idea how long the discount code is good for? My mom and I are interested, but we want to discuss it further over Xmas week. Will the discount be pulled before then??

  12. It'sOnlyMe*

    I loved your movie Alison and was so excited but then so sad it isn’t available in Canada. If anyone knows of a Canadian business that’s similar, please share. What a great present.

  13. Jayne*

    I ordered mine today! This post came at the perfect time because I had a stack of 10 videos that I wanted to get converted but hadn’t found the right place to do them. This sounds fantastic and such a great discount! If this goes well, I’ll probably tackle my pictures with another legacybox. I had planned to scan them all in myself but it’s just so much work D:

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