International Time Capsule Society
on Building a Time Capsule
The Nine Most
Wanted Time Capsules
Time Capsule Secrets
- 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.
- Choose an "archivist" or director.
Committees are good to share the work load, but
a single person needs to direct the project.
- Select a container. 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.
- 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
- Secure items for time storage. 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
- 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.
- 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 your creativity
at all times.
- 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.