Preserving Family Memories - Resources for Amateur Archivists

My great-grandfather, Louis Baltz, working on his farm.

WHY Family Archives Matter

Family collections of photos, videos, papers, and films are important not just for sentimental reasons but because they tell the story of who we are. They are a record for future generations, they embody the history of our community, and sometimes family treasures can become national treasures—it’s hard to predict when!

I’ve taught many workshops on how best to care to family memories, from recording oral histories with loved ones to caring for physical media. Below are some of my favorite supplies and a tipsheet handout to help those just getting started with their own family archive.


The cheapest way to safeguard your collection is to keep it cool, high, and dry—such as in a closet inside your home, never the attic or garage!

If you can spare some expense, using archival quality and photo-safe supplies is next best-step for keeping your memories safe.

Here are some of my favorites: