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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
Introduction
What Should We Preserve?
Cleaning Procedures
 
Preservation
• 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
Newsprint
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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