Arts & Culture

How Your Family Memories Could Become Part of Texas History

The Texas Film Roundup is underway in Galveston this weekend.

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Picture of Afsheem Nomai
TAMI’s Afsheen Nomai prepares 8 mm film to be digitized.

Jeff Seinsheimer says it’s been at least 40 years since he's seen the 8 mm film footage flickering in front of him. It's a family movie of his 2nd birthday party.

"This looks like my grandmother's backyard maybe, from the brick color," he says with a slightly wistful expression.

The film is in the process of being digitized, then it'll be catalogued and archived in a statewide online database. It's a public history project led by the Texas Archive of the Moving Image.

"People don't always realize that their home movies are our history," says TAMI's Managing Director Madeline Moya. "You get to see how people celebrate Christmas and Easter, how local communities celebrated their heritage and their history."

She's in Galveston for the weekend to collect film from the public. They call it the Texas Film Roundup and they've received more than 700 items since Thursday. Additionally, everyone who donates also receives their own digital copies.

"Our very first person that came in this morning has a film of President Eisenhower visiting Houston. We've got a lot of beach vacations," Moya says.

They're also accepting old television advertisements, industrial and educational films, which are often used for educational and research purposes. In the past, they've partnered with places like the University of Texas and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston for projects.

The film roundup is at the Rosenberg Library through Sunday.

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