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Tips for archiving your family tree
There are dozens of websites out there today that allow you to explore your family tree and understand more of your ancestry and where you came from. However, something lacking from these sites is the physical evidence - that is, the photos, documents and other special mementos that cyberspace simply cannot hold in any tactile, tangible form.
Although your family's legacy may be timeless, the artifacts that have lasted through the years are not. If you're organizing the physical items from your family tree, it's important that you use the proper archival grade materials to keep them intact for future generations to enjoy.
Step 1: Organizing the archives
Before you can go protecting and filing these items, you will need to determine what they are so you know what types of archival materials you will need to store them. It's best to organize the items by type. For example, you might put photographs in one group, then make another category for type-written documents and another for hand-written pages like letters and envelopes. Still other categories may include items like quilts, pieces of clothing, coin collections and medals.
Step 2: Selecting the right archival storage materials
• Understanding the object. Are you storing photos? Letters? Clothing? These are all quite different and will need specific products to protect them. For example, Film/Print Sleeves might be a good choice for photographs, as they are made of polypropylene, a clear material that allows you to view the images without the risk of damaging the original print with fingerprints or scratches.
On the other hand, textile objects such as quilts, blankets and clothing will need larger storage items with somewhat different properties. The Textile Storage Box may be a good option, because it is made from acid- and lignin-free paper. You can also get buffered or un-buffered tissue to place between garments to protect them even better. Protein-based materials such as silk and wool should be stored with un-buffered tissue, while vegetable-based textiles like cotton can be stored with either type.
• Understanding the storage space. Where will you be storing these artifacts? Understanding this is critical, as you can purchase archival products that can protect textiles from sun damage, for instance, or photos from dust scratches. Before you select your protective materials, know whether you need to shop for any considerations, because many items have traits that make them more desirable for certain conditions than others. No matter which you choose, it's always best to store valuable documents in a climate- and temperature-controlled room for best preservation.
Step 3: Share your archives
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