Indiana Historical Society Teaches Techniques for Preserving Original Family Documents

Members of the community interested in learning how to take care of their original family documents at an upcoming preservation workshop presented by the Indiana Historical Society. How to Preserve Original Family Documents will be offered twice on Friday, Feb. 2, with sessions available at times of 9 a.m.-Noon and 1-4 p.m. The workshops will take place at the Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Many people get their start in genealogy with the discovery of one intriguing family letter or document. Workshop attendees can learn how to preserve their family treasures and bring their treasured certificate, letter, or other document for specialized advice by IHS conservation staff. This hands-on workshop will teach participants how to evaluate the condition of the paper, surface clean and create an archival enclosure. Only single sheet-paper items (no photographs or pamphlets) will be encapsulated, but the document may be double-sided.

Guests will also see a demonstration of how to humidify and flatten items that have been rolled for many years and store them with care. IHS conservation staff will offer advice as to whether specialized treatment is recommended for an attendee’s particular item and where private conservation labs in the region are located for conservation treatment.

Ramona Duncan-Huse, Senior Director of Conservation for the Indiana Historical Society, has managed the preservation and treatment of the Society’s rare collections of manuscripts, printed and photographic collections for more than 25 years. She holds a Certificate of Conservation from a conservation graduate program sponsored by the University of London.

Cost for this workshop is $25 for the general public ($20 for IHS members), and the registration deadline is Jan. 24. Seating will be limited to 15 people per class. For more information or to register, call the Indiana Historical Society at (317) 232-1882 or (800) 447-1830. A registration brochure can be downloaded at

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and disseminating Indiana history. The independent, nonprofit organization also publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; provides youth, adult and family programming; assists local historical groups throughout the state; and maintains one of the world’s largest collection of material on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest. The Indiana Historical Society is one of the oldest and largest historical societies in the United States.  The Society is located in the Indiana History Center at 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202. (

One thought on “Indiana Historical Society Teaches Techniques for Preserving Original Family Documents

  1. I wish I were in Indy – my husband’s home! I would surely attend your 2/2/07 preservation workshop. But I’m in Tampa Fl and have a fraktur of my 3rd removed grandfather’s birth dated 1811. I would like to preserve it myself since I am told it would cost $200> to have it done. What is your opinion? Do you think I would be able to do this or should I just give up and show them (preservationist) the money?

    Linda Pifer-Pollock

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