Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Preserving Family Papers


Published on

A Powerpoint for those interested in genealogy and family history - a "how to" get started and what to do and what to avoid to ensure the longevity and ease of access to your treasured heritage!

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Preserving Family Papers

  1. 1. Preserving Your Family Papers Heidi Bamford, Regional Archivist Documentary Heritage Program October 24, 2013 1
  2. 2. Collecting & Saving Family History • A “family story” is more than just dates and names o There are personal and professional interactions being documented o There are “older” and “newer” stories to be preserved o The stories may be of interest to people other than your own family! 2
  3. 3. First Steps: 3 Have a Plan! Set aside specific times, spaces, and materials for sorting through collections Table, gloves, notebooks, folders or envelopes, boxes, pencils Begin at the Beginning – Look at family history. Start with most recent materials and work backwards
  4. 4. Create an Inventory 4 • Helps with: o Locating items and information o Cutting down on handling fragile or sensitive materials o Assessing time and resources needed to address organization and preservation activities o Knowing what gaps are in your stories o “Weeding” o Getting Organized!
  5. 5. What to Keep? Unique Informational 5 • Certificates • Deeds, Wills • Awards, Citations • Memorabilia • Creative works (poems, sketches) • Membership records • Correspondence • Diaries and journals • Scrapbooks • News clippings and newsletters • Photos & slides • Audio, video, CD, DVD • Oral histories
  6. 6. What to Keep? Also must consider: Volume Age Condition Authority Propriety Uniqueness Informational 6
  7. 7. Organizing Your Collection • Resist the Urge to “Reorganize” the Stories! o Remember, history, including family history is organic – it develops as a result of day-to-day actions and interactions • Use archival principles of: • PROVENANCE – Keep records of each creator together o Group by creator • Divide into distinct “series” • RESPECT DU FONDS – Keep records arranged the way the creator arranged them o Organize following lead of creator 7 *For each grouping, you can store & preserve similar types of materials, Rather than storing all diaries together, all newspapers, etc.
  8. 8. Finding the Right Storage Space • IDEALLY: o A room or part of a room not in the attic or basement o A stable temperature of 65-70 degrees F and, relative humidity of 40% o Minimal light source  The invisible enemies: pests, dust/dirt, pollutants  Watch your step – avoid carpeting or linoleum  Be sure to regularly monitor the space! 6/17/2014 8
  9. 9. 6/17/2014Footer Text 9
  10. 10. Storage Supplies – First Tier • Shelving – for most materials, this should be open steel shelving o Enamel-coated is best o Lowest unit at least 4-6 inches from floor; highest unit at least 10-12 inches from ceiling – avoid pipes! o Alternatives – paper or board-lined wood shelving for short term • Cabinets or cases – should be steel o Same positioning as with shelving (floor to ceiling) o Do not over or under-fill drawers! 10
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. Storage Supplies – Second Tier • Boxes – Manufactured or custom made for support & protection • Folders and Envelopes- for instability or fragility • Sleeves – for fragile, single or acidic items 12
  13. 13. 6/17/2014Footer Text 13
  14. 14. Storage Supplies - Documents • Use vertical storage boxes for stronger, standard size papers and horizontal storage boxes for fragile, oversize materials o Use rolled storage when items are too large for flat storage • Boxes should be strong, have reinforced corners and match size of materials o too small will cause mechanical damage from stuffing; o too large will cause mechanical damage from sliding around or drooping. 14
  15. 15. Storage Supplies – Books and Bound Materials • Parts of the book to be protected: o Text block o Boards o Spine o Flyleaf o Hinge o Head/cap o Tail 6/17/2014 15 • Enclosures: o Pre-made clamshell boxes o Custom size book boxes o Tying or wrapping o Polyester book jackets
  16. 16. Storage Supplies – Photos & Negatives • Three basic parts of structure include: o support layer (metal, glass, paper, plastic), o image layer (silver, platinum, dyes, iron) and o binder (gelatin, albumen, collodion) 16 • All photo storage materials should pass PAT test* • Use plastic** enclosures for frequent viewing – unless flaking occurs • Use paper for interleaving if multiple prints are in folders or boxes • Negatives go in paper enclosures • Archival binders are acceptable for prints
  17. 17. Storage Supplies - Other • Textiles • Ephemera • Small Objects • Works of Art • Digital o NPS Conserv-O-Grams 17 • Types of Damage o Chemical (all organic materials: paper, textiles, plastics, dyes, leather, fur, etc) • Chemical change attributed to location o Mechanical (Rare books, paintings, furniture, textiles; any bound or composite object) • Temp/humidity • handling o Mold decay (All organic materials (paper, textiles, plastics, dyes, leather, fur) or inorganic materials with organic films) • moisture o Metal corrosion • moisture
  18. 18. What If…. • What if you can’t provide this kind of storage environment for your collection? o Consider donating your family history collection to a local repository • Selecting a repository • Creating a Deed of Gift • Supporting your gift with an endowment 18
  19. 19. Donor Deed of Gift Form Usually includes: • Name of donor • Name of recipient • Date of transfer • Brief description of materials • Transfer of physical/intellectual rights • Restrictions – legal, personal; length of time • Disposal criteria/authority • Signatures of donor/recipient – witness o See sample deed of gift forms o 19
  20. 20. RESOURCES Where to go for more help: • Archival Supply Vendors (New York State Archives) • Gaylord online catalog • Conservation Online • Conserve-O-Grams from NPS • North East Documentation Conservation Center 20
  21. 21. That’s It! Any Questions? Good Luck! Thank you! 21