Ancestry.com

Preservation Week: Pass It On

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on May 1, 2014 in Events
How do you keep these papers safe so you can pass them on?

How do you keep these papers safe so you can pass them on?

This week is Preservation Week, sponsored by the American Library Association. ALA began Preservation Week in 2010 to help libraries and other institutions learn more about caring for unique items. It’s one thing if a copy of a best seller falls apart; you can likely get a replacement. But if that photograph of a Civil War soldier gets destroyed, it’s not like you can go out and take another photo of him.

Preservation Week spotlights not only things that libraries and archives can do, but also what all of us can do as individuals. ALA estimates that there are 630 million items in various institutions that require immediate attention and care. Imagine how many millions more are in homes (and barns and sheds and… ).

The theme for this year’s Preservation Week is “Pass It On.” How appropriate for us family historians!

Some Basic Tips

With paper, less is more. Less handling. Less light. Less heat. Less humidity. You know Grandma’s keepsake box filled with letters that you have down in the basement? Not a good place for them. Not only is the humidity too high, but think about what happens in basements: flooding. Get them out of the basement and into a closet.

What about those photographs that we treasure? Same principles apply. Instead of hanging an original photograph, consider hanging a copy of it. Keep the original safe somewhere dark.

Resources

Here are some resources to help guide you as you preserve your own treasures so you can pass them on:

Preservation Week

American Library Association:

Library of Congress:

National Archives and Records Administration:

Tomorrow, guest blogger Nancy Kraft will tell us about dealing with a tricky preservation problem: mold. It’s a dirty subject, but one we all need to pay attention to.

 

 

About Amy Johnson Crow
Amy Johnson Crow is a Community Manager for Ancestry.com. She's a Certified Genealogist and an active lecturer and author. Her roots run deep in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. Amy loves to help people discover the joys of learning about their ancestors and she thinks that there are few things better than a day in a cemetery. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and No Story Too Small.

Leave a comment

Comment on this articleCommenting is open until Thursday, 15 May 2014

We really do appreciate your feedback, and ask that you please be respectful to other commenters and authors. Any abusive comments may be moderated.

Add comment

Looking for help with a specific problem? Try contacting Customer Service.

Discuss more Ancestry.com topics in the Message Boards.

About the Ancestry.com blog

Here you will find informational, and sometimes fun, posts from the folks behind the scenes here at Ancestry.com. We hope you’ll notice just how passionate we are about family history and about the products we’re building to help connect families over distance and time.

Visit Ancestry.com
Notifications

Receive updates from the Ancestry.com blog Learn more