We have to advocate the preservation of old Newspapers, Photos and Memorabilia. Please, please, please do not throw out old things just because you don't have the space or the energy to keep them. Strongly consider donating anything you do not wish to keep to your local or online genealogical society or public library. Such organizations will often even pay for shipping to preserve these old artifacts. So much is lost when things are simply tossed out! Entire families, generations can slip through the cracks because people simply don't know enough of where to keep the items or where to donate them. If you have and questions about this, if you've recently lost a loved one and would like to make a donation to our archives through an estate, or if we can help you in any manner, please don't hesitate to e-mail us at Jenn@SnowStones.com.
Please keep in mind, as well as taking old documents we'd be glad to come to you, or have you come to us, to scan a collection so that it is available online. We'd like to do as much as possible to help preserve our family's history - And copies of documents can never hurt.
How to Store Your Own Documents
Gran used to keep her old photos wrapped in tape and saran wrap. Surprisingly, there was an amazing amount of preservation by those two things, but we do like to think we can make it a little better with all our modern convenience.
Photos can easily be stored in plastic ziploc bags, or photo albums that do not have adhesive pages. Make sure all your storage books are acid and lignin free, with hard covers so things don't get bent. I recommend plastic storage bins as well, as they cut down on the chances of moisture leaking into a cardboard box. For more information on the importance of paper, please view our article on The Importance of Paper.
Please do not ever write on a photograph. The chemical makeup of ink will deteriorate the image eventually, not to mention the ink will eventually fade to the point of illegibility. To label photographs, put them in plastic sleeves or bags and then label the bags.
An old fashioned custom, the use of cedar chests or hope chests has declined with the modern age. But the aged wisdom of using these of fashioned chests can't be denied, and a revival of the hope chest might be the best answer to preserving historical fashion and weaving, textiles and other valuable historical contributions.
Cedar was often used as a building tool of chests because of it's ability to repel insects and it's durability. Cedar doesn't rot easily and it repels moths and fungus. Hope Chests were given as gifts for coming of age, somewhere to store trousseau linens or handed down quilts. The same still applies today. Cedar chests make sweet sense to practical modern decorating. They provide a dry and safe place to store mementos for generations to come and they're available in so many different fashions that they will fit into a home no matter the décor preference.
Acid free tissue paper, garment bags and rosemary and lavender are also common preserving tools. The best way to ensure the method you're using is practical is to check on your linens often, perhaps as much as once a year and adjust items accordingly to ensure their preservation. To preserve quilts, wrap the quilt in a cotton pillow case, the more pure mix of cotton the better.
Donating to Museums or Historical Societies
We know some people like to keep ancient farm tools and whale bone corsets in their basement (Hint Hint Hint to a certain person we know!!!) but traditionally most people are looking to get rid of old things and clutter. Several places across Canada and the United States are more than willing to take donations of personal collections with historical relevance. Before you throw something out, please consider making a donation of such articles to the appropriate venues.
The Closet Skeleton Genealogical Society
Snowstones.com SkeletonGen.com and all displayed content © 2013 - 1998