Preservation and Care of your Memories
When you are ready to record your memories, you can use whatever supplies you have on hand and go from there – whatever it takes to get you started will work. At the same time, you might want to know that what kind of supplies you use and how you store them will determine how well they will hold up through the years.
There is some great general information in these links:
- To purchase the archival-quality materials to help you get started, visit a local scrapbooking store and talk to a manager there to help you determine what would be best. Look for “acid-free” and “lignin-free” or “archival safe” materials. Or you can go to Light Impressions or Gaylord to get archival supplies directly on the Internet.
- Canadian Conservation Institute – Their “How to Care For” series goes over preserving many different things found around the house, from paper to musical instruments to candlesticks, and more.
- National Archives and Records Administration – “Caring for your Family Archives” includes questions on storing, digitizing, and displaying photographs, repairing documents, preserving home movies, and more.
- When the Dust Settles: Tips for Safely Cleaning Family Treasures – This article from FEMA lists many different items that could be considered family treasures and details how to clean them. It also includes a list of the best supplies to use when cleaning.
Whatever you do, don’t let this information, or the idea that you have to do this “perfectly,” keep you from recording what is in your heart. If you can use archival-safe materials, do so – if you can’t, then don’t worry about it.
Preserving Your Family Photographs, by Maureen A. Taylor
This book gives information to help you:
* Identify the types of damage already done to the photos in your collection.
* Take care of all your photos going forward, so that damage is a thing of the past.
* Preserve your digital images – for you and future generations.
* Select a conservator to repair damaged photos and protect them from more deterioration.
* Create a stunning scrapbook that will endure, using archival quality guidelines.
* Explore techniques to share your images.
* And more…
An Ounce of Preservation : A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs, by Craig S. Tuttle
“…provides a clear and concise discussion of the causes of paper and photograph deterioration and he teaches the reader to recognize the damage caused by such environmental conditions as temperature, humidity, fungi, insects and rodents, light exposure, pollutants, water damage, framing, lamination, fasteners and adhesives, fire and theft. Included in the long list of paper-based and photographic items which can be preserved and repaired are letters, books, posters, works of art on paper, certificates and awards, comic books, journals, scrapbooks, magazines, newspapers, stamps, report cards, sports cards, greeting cards, postcards, black and white and color photographs, negatives, slides and movie film.”
Caring for Your Family Treasures: Heritage Preservation, by Jane S. Long
“Although there are plenty of guidebooks on preserving museum-quality antiques, this book is unique in that it focuses on the care and handling of precious family heirlooms such as old silver, wedding gowns, scrapbooks, photos, books, and dolls. It was assembled under the guidance of Heritage Preservation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving cultural artifacts, sites, natural science specimens, buildings, and works of art.”