Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Australia, Books

To coincide with ‘Shake Your Family Tree‘ Open Day, The National Archives of Australia announced the release of Keeping Family Treasures, an illustrated guide on how to look after precious family heirlooms in the home.

All families have treasured mementos but those memories could fade away if you don’t look after them.

Using the family treasures of famous and lesser-known Australians, National Archives conservators provide helpful preservation advice on caring for family keepsakes. The book gives expert advice on how to look after all kinds of objects including photos, fabric, paper, film and videos and CDs and DVDs.

Some of the more well-known Australians in the book are:

  • Actress, musician and historian Alice Garner finds out how to preserve her great great-grandfather’s sketchbooks from the 1850′s, some of which also contain locks of his children’s hair, diary entries and pressed flowers.
  • Culinary legend Margaret Fulton learns how to care for her father’s tailoring shears
  • Former ABC presenter Andy Muirhead gets some advice on how to maintain his grandfather’s travel trunk.

Conservator and co-author Ian Batterham said, “With interest in family history at an all-time high, more people recognise the importance of preserving their family’s special records, but aren’t sure where to start. Keeping Family Treasures fills the gap with professional advice that isn’t available elsewhere in such a readable form.”

Keeping Family Treasures provides an opportunity for the Archives to extend this assistance and knowledge to the public,” he said.

Ian Batterham is a senior conservator at the National Archives and author of The Office Copying Revolution. Keeping Family Treasures joint author Elizabeth Masters writes for the National Archives and is the author of Australia’s Government Explained.

Keeping Family Treasures is available through the National Archives e-shop for $24.95.