Preservation of Family Artifacts

pres-tapeThere can be so many vintage and even recent family artifacts that need to be preserved now the correct method.

Here is a list of items you may not of thought of saving:

Photos, Documents (deeds, Wills, certificates, records), Clothing (textiles), Recordings (cassettes, tapes), Slides (photo), Scrapbooks, Movie Film (videos), Journals, Diaries, Letters and Books.

Some of those you may have already scanned, such as records, documents and photos, but it could the letters, journals, slides and especially films and recordings that have not been preserved to date.  pres-movies

For example, a VHS tape might contain the old family reel-to-reel films and you think it is now preserved. First, the VHS machine to play such tapes may not be available much longer. Also the tape deteriorate over the years if not protected from heat, cold or dampness. Remember those family home movies can not be repeated. Have the tapes or the old films also made digital so they can be on a computer, on digital storage device (hard drive, flash, thumb drive or disc). If you do not have the equipment or knowledge, there are many companies that can do those services. Cost is small compared to the ‘priceless’ family films.

pres-scrapbookScrapbooks are another item to be scanned as an image to save. Many times scrapbook are just glued in paper items which will tear. Again if you can’t scan, find a friend or a business that can do it — making each page digital.

Sometimes you might want to get rid of items you have saved through digital scanning. Never, do that. First contact other family members and see if they want the original item (photos, films, cassettes, scrapbooks, etc). Also check with hometown museums and historical societies – many whom love to save these local artifacts.

This site, Association of Library Collections, is online and provides some additional clues to preserving your family artifacts.

Related genealogy blogs:

Preserving Books-Documents

Where to Save Photos

Storage Devices

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