The concept of a time capsule has been an adventure for generations; young and old alike partake in this activity with the zeal and enthusiasm of an explorer. The time capsule is a token and commemoration for your life, and is an attempt to connect with either yourself, or another person, in the future. Some people choose to make one to celebrate the New Year, but it can take place at any time of your life.
History tells us that this is an ancient tradition founded by the Egyptians; here, they used time capsules as a way to preserve sacred scrolls, statues, and other items. It is because of these time capsules that many of today’s archaeological findings have given us insight into ancient practices and rituals.
Today, preserving family memories, special moments, notes of appreciation, or tributes to another are all ideas to create a time capsule. It is also a great way to look forward to your future self, as you can write down meaningful quotes, hopes, goals, and dreams and open the capsule at a later date. For the more serious-minded, the International Time Capsule Society is an organization that registers, promotes, and designates opening dates of important capsules. Whatever the reason for creating your time capsule, here are some tips and suggestions to make sure yours will last.
Use non-biodegradable material, as you will be burying the item in the ground or out in a forest. Choose plastic, heavy duty rubber, or metal. You can also purchase a time capsule just for this occasion: Infinity Time Capsule
If you have the materials or resources, flush the capsule with dry nitrogen to remove the oxygen from the container. This will ensure that no humidity and air can get in to spoil the materials and items inside.
Make the capsule unique and personal. Although you may not have a lot of decorative options for the outside, you can make some very unique and distinctive designs on the inside. Choose your favorite colors, pictures, clippings, and mementos for decorations.
Include a notebook to jot down or print favorite quotes, sayings, notes, or journal pages. These are great originals that you or another person can look forward to reading!
Include objects and artifacts (those that you feel would be safe enough to possibly lose at the site) that can make your time capsule more memorable and meaningful. Photographs are great, but be sure to use black and white whenever possible as color photographs may lose their images or fade quickly.
Include a CD, with either music, pictures, or even video clips to open at a later date.
Mark the site of the capsule! Even if you have the best memory, do make a note of the location of your time capsule, and possibly log it into a GPS device. You can share this secret spot with only those you feel comfortable opening it! Alternatively, you can promote the location of your capsule on sites such as http://www.geocaching.com or discussion forums.
Register your capsule at The International Time Capsule Society. The International Time Capsule Society was established in 1990 in Atlanta, Georgia, and allows people world wide to register their capsule in a formal registry and database. The site asks you to fill out your contact information, the contents or purpose of your time capsule, and when you would like it opened. The detailed database of other time capsules is then accessible, and is a fun way to connect with other hobbyists!
You can register here.
Select the ‘to open’ date. Even if you don’t formally register the capsule, do make a mental or physical note on a calendar for when you would like to retrieve it! It’s easy to forget about a project after a year or two, and this will give you a chance to follow up. You can even use this as a cause to celebrate with friends and family at an ‘opening’ ceremony!