So... I’ve got these 20 boxes filled with thousands of items that I’m calling my family collection. Now it’s time to ensure their long-term preservation. But what exactly does that mean?
Here are some of the things that I hope to address over the next 11 months:
Inventory: Knowing what you’ve got.
Cataloging: Knowing where to find the things that you’ve got.
|Monitoring the environment.|
Photo courtesy of the Conservation Center
for Art and Historic Artifacts.
Environment: The importance of storing items in areas with appropriate temperature, humidity, and light levels.
Conservation Treatment: Stabilizing historic items in an effort to slow down deterioration.
Rehousing: Moving historic items into appropriate storage equipment or folders.
Digitization: Reformatting for the digital age, with the possibility of nifty restoration.
There’s more (lots more!), but I think this covers the basic essentials of preservation for the family collection. I hope to discuss most of these subjects here as I go about addressing the needs of my own collection.
An Open Invitation: Please feel free to share in our Comments section about your experiences with preserving your family collections. Let’s learn from each other!