November 21

An Introduction to DOTAGE

Here at Preserving Family Memories, we know dotage. I first learned the word reading Charles Dickens.

Charles Dickens wax figure in Madame Tussaud museum

One of the earliest Dickens books I read was David Copperfield. It was long, and I was still in grade school. But I found the book fascinating. With a dictionary by my side, I looked up many peculiar English words. And dotage stuck with me.

Here’s a quote with dotage that stuck with me:

“I am the agent and friend of Mr. Wickfield, sir,” said Traddles, in a composed and business-like way. “And I have a power of attorney from him in my pocket, to act for him in all matters.”
“The old ass has drunk himself into a state of dotage,” said Uriah, turning uglier than before, “and it has been got from him by fraud!”
“Something has been got from him by fraud, I know,” returned Traddles quietly; “and so do you, Mr. Heep. We will refer that question, if you please, to Mr. Micawber.”

So, dotage stuck with me. In many of Dickens works, dotage is more gently associated with an elderly person. They may have lost some memories along the way.

I thought dotage apt for Preserving Family Memories. I mean, we all get there sooner or later. And it’s important to start preserving our memories while we can.

While your parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents are still alive, you have to capture as many memories of their lives as possible. After they pass, their knowledge, wisdom and memories pass with them.

When I was a kid, I listened to the stories of my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Those relatives told their stories with laughter and warmth. I don’t remember all those stories, just a few. As I got older, I wanted to know more about my family. And I realized I needed to learn as much as I could, before family members couldn’t remember their stories. Or they were unable to tell them.

Luckily, both my grandmothers lived to be more than 100 years old. Unluckily, both my parents died while I was in my twenties. I decided I needed to know more about my family history, so I spent a lot of time with my grandmothers. I learned a lot.

So, Preserving Family Memories is about preserving the memories you have captured so far. And it’s about capturing new ones while you, your elders and your children are still around.

To help you, we use the acronym, DOTAGE.



Find your memories and get them ready to preserve.



Sort and store your physical and digital memories.



Digitize your memories to today's formats.


Audio & Video

Create recordings of your family's stories from your relatives.



Back up and secure your memories so they're safe.



Share your memories with your family and friends.

DOTAGE is six easy steps to find, organize, convert, record, store and secure and share your family’s memories.

  1. 1
    Discovery: Find the memories you have or what you want to preserve. Read more.
  2. 2
    Organization: Organize and store what you have or what you will create. Read more.
  3. 3
    Transformation: Convert any analog material to digital. Read more.
  4. 4
    Audio & Visual: Record audio or visual media for your stories and memories. Read more.
  5. 5
    Guarding: Secure those memories by backing them up and locking them so you never lose them. Read more.
  6. 6
    Enlightenment: Share your memories with friends and relatives now or after you're gone. Read more.

We’ll help you convert the old analog memories to today's digital realm,which makes them easier to store and share. Memories you want to preserve include the following:

  • Diaries
  • Newspaper and magazine clippings
  • Paper records
  • Photographs, slides, film negatives
  • Audio records, including LPs, 45s and 78s
  • Cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes
  • 8mm and VHS movies
  • Art and collectibles

It’s about organizing what you have when you have it. It’s also about guarding what you have. The last thing you want to find out is that after you’ve gone to a lot of work, the digital or analog version of a memory is gone, maybe forever.

Finally, you want to enlighten your family and friends with the memories.

We hope you find our tips and techniques useful. And we’re doing these same things to protect our own family’s memories. If you have questions, leave a comment at the end of a post. Or use the Contact Us page to send us a message. We’ll do all we can to give you a hand!

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