Preserving Family Memories - Resources for Amateur Archivists
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.
SUPPLIES FOR GETTING STARTED
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:
polypropylene plastic sleeves for photos, documents, artwork or anything paper;
the incredibly well-made (but expensive) Kolo albums for truly precious photos or scrapbooks;
the Gaylord Archival Family Archives Document Preservation Kit - a starter kit with different types of folders, document cases, and gloves for handling along with an archival quality box;
safe adhesive photos mounts, such as Lineco photo corners, for mounting photos in scrapbooks without photo sleeves.