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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Entries in archive (3)


    Touchy Feely Time with Archival Boxes and Folders at #SCGS13

    6 alpha trunk new

    Join me at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree to get up close and personal with the most popular archival storage products -- and a few new surprises in preservation containers -- for Paper or Plastic? Preserving Keepsakes Workshop on Sunday, June 9th.

    I am especially excited to be showing off some new-to-me (and maybe to you) products from Hollinger Metal Edge and Sentry Safe. Both companies were kind enough to send me sample products and a lot of great information to share with attendees. I will also have a limited number of archival product catalogs available from Hollinger Metal Edge.

    This 90-minute workshop could also be called "Everything I Wish I Had Known When I Inherited My First Family Collection." We will discuss how to safely preserve an assortment of family artifacts, including documents, correspondence, photographs, and artifacts, and attendees will have a chance to see and handle a selection of archival storage containers.

    Paper or Plastic will begin with a presentation highlighting 

    • What Makes It an Heirloom?
    • Roles and Goals for Collectors
    • Archives 101
    • Preservation Case Studies
    • Make It Yourself Archival Options

    Following the presentation, there will be time for product demonstrations and questions, and hand-on with the sample products.

    When I first inherited my grandmother's treasures, I was overwhelmed by the huge assortment of archival storage boxes. Should I use an upright box or a flat box? Drop front or telescoping lid? Is there a difference between grey archival board and black or tan? It took hours to unravel the mysteries of the catalog and finally begin to move my keepsakes into appropriate storage. I hope Sunday's presentation will cut through the infusion and help you organize and preserve your family treasures.

    Sunday, June 7 10:00am - 11:30 am SCGS Jamboree
    Paper or Plastic? Preserving Keepsakes Workshop

    Attendees will find a 4-page handout in the Jamboree Syllabus and a Workshop Worksheet to use during the session on the Jamboree App (look in the Exhibitor listing under The Family Curator for the downloads).


    Digitize, Organize, and Archive with Genealogy Gems' Lisa Louise Cooke

    Gen Gem Logo

    How to Archive Family Keepsakes is featured in the newest Genealogy Gems Podcast, Episode 144, as Lisa Louise Cooke and I chat about the challenges of organizing family history photos and documents, genealogy research, and digital files. 

    I love talking with Lisa about genealogy and family history. Like me, Lisa inherited treasures from from her own family and her husband's family, too, and likes to use these special items for family history projects and genealogy research. Creating a home family archive can make it easier to locate photos for a quick photo project or find documents for a family tree; one trick is maintaining a good inventory list.

    Lisa and I also talked about using digitization to help preserve family artifacts, and how to move towards a paperless genealogy office when we're dealing with mountains of our own research papers. And yes, you can make real progress toward reducing paper in only seven steps!

    Tune in to the Episode 144 of the Genealogy Gems Podcast for tips and strategies from my new book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes, and ideas for digitizing, organizing and archiving your own family treasures.


    5 First Aid Tips for Water Damaged Family Photos

    Wet recovery workshop

    In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, thousands of family historians may be facing the task of salvaging precious family photos, papers, and heirlooms. Salvage efforts should begin within 48 hours, according to the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

    Here are a few first steps to help with your recovery efforts of family photos:

    1. Photographs and paper items will be extremely fragile when wet; handle with care. Avoid touching the print surface.

    2. Framed photos that become wet should be removed from the frame to air dry flat, when possible. Remove frame backing, loosen edges, and gently free prints from frame.

    3. Rinse photos gently with clear water to clean off silt and debris without touching the surface of the print.

    4. Air dry wet items indoors if possible. Encourage air circulation by opening windows, running room fans,  air conditioners, and dehumidifiers. 

    5. Do not store damp items in plastic bags -- this will cause mold to grow. If you need to store temporarily in plastic containers, leave the lid off or ajar and encourage air circulation.

    Consult a professional conservator for further restoration treatment.

    This information is adapted from Disaster Response & Recovery, American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and Disaster Recovery Conserve-O-Gram, National Parks Service, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

    Further Resources

    National Institute for Conservation
    National Parks Service, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

    Download NCPTT Disaster Recovery Conserve-O-Gram pdf

    Photo: NCPTT Wet Recovery Workshop, 2008.

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