We’ll help you get started!

  1. Select a retrieval date. A 50-year or less time capsule may be witnessed by your own generation. The longer the duration, the more difficult the task. Centennial (100-year) time capsules are popular.

  2. Choose an “archivist” or director. Committees are good to share the work load, but a single person needs to direct the project.

  3. Select a container - physical or digital.

    • Physcial : a safe is a good choice. As long as the interior is cool, dry, and dark artifacts can be preserved. (One of the earliest time capsules was the Century Safe for the Centennial Exposition of 1876.) For ambitious – century or more – projects, there are professional time capsule companies about which the ITCS can provide information.

    • Digital: consider the storage medium and the necessary technology to open it

  4. Find location

    • For Digital - copy to multiple locations on multiple digital media

    • For Physical - find a secure indoor location. It is not recommended that time capsules be “buried” – thousands have been lost in this way. It is important that the location be marked with a plaque describing the “mission” of the time capsule.

  5. Secure items for time storage. Follow reputable preservation guidelines. Many things your committee selects will have meaning into the future. Try to have a mix of items from the sublime to the trivial. Items are usually donated. The archivist should keep an inventory of all items sealed in the time capsule.

  6. Have a solemn “sealing ceremony” where you formally christen the time capsule with a name. Invite the media and keep a good photographic record of your efforts, including the inside of your completed project.

  7. Don’t forget your time capsule! You would be surprised how often this happens, usually within a short time. Try to “renew” the tradition of memory with anniversaries and reunions. You might also send out invitations to the projected opening. Use technology like blockchain or genealogy and your creativity at all times .

  8. Inform the ITCS of your completed time capsule project. The ITCS will add your time capsule to its database in an attempt to register all known time capsules.