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Preserve Your Family History Documents & Heirlooms
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(Formerly titled: Protect Your Precious Documents)

You have taken the time to locate and acquire your family’s precious documents, photos, and heirlooms. Now take the time to protect, curate, and share them for future generations to enjoy.

This course discusses how to preserve your family history items to minimize damage. The procedures for encapsulating documents and photographs will be explored, as well as other methods to protect your family heirlooms. You are your family’s archivist, and family history requires you to do more than research, you must also preserve material items of the past. This course will demonstrate the techniques and tools you need to do just that.

Course Content

Module 1
Preserving Your Family History
What Should We Preserve?
Cleaning Procedures
• Acid-free
• Enclosures
• Plastic Enclosures
• Boxes, Boxes & More Boxes
What You Will Want to Preserve
Worst Enemies of Preservation
• Handling & Caring of Items
• Light
• Temperature
• Humidity
• Displaying Items
• Insects & Vermin
• Major Disasters
Achival Products
Suggested Reading & Resources

Module 2
Handling & Storing Paper Items
Paper Documents
What to keep & what to discard?
How are your documents held together?
Do your documents require cleaning?
• What level of acidity does your document have?
• Suggestions When Cleaning Documents
• Does your document have tears or rips in it?
How to Store Your Documents
Archival Products

Module 3
Photographs & Family Books
Photographs & Negatives
• Types of Photograph Damage
• Storing Photographs
• Types of Photographs
Family Books
• Family Bible, Diaries & Family History Books
• How to Store Your Books
Archival Products

Module 4
Audio & Video Recordings, and Heirlooms
Audio Recordings
• Phonographs
• Audio Cassettes
Live Action Video Recordings
• Video Tapes
Compact Disks
Special Heirlooms on Fabric, Wood, or Metal
• Fabric
• Wood Items
• Metal
Archival Products

Module 5
Digitizating for Preservation
Why Digitize?
• Digitization is Preservation
• What should be digitized?
Digitization Equipment
Digitization Guidelines

Module 6
Resources & Tools
Records Preservation Tool Kit
• Records Preservation Materials Resources
In the End...
• Planning for the Future
• Preparing Items for Family
• Other Ways to Preserve Items for the Long Term
Suggested Reading & Resources

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