Happy Preservation Week!

2017 Preservation Week

2017 Preservation Week

It is Preservation Week, 2017, and we hope you will celebrate with us by taking a step to preserve your own family history at home.  Every project starts with a first step, and one step in particular can have a huge impact on the life span of all your family treasures, whether letters, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, tape and video cassettes, or film.  Just by taking your keepsakes out of storage areas that experience extremes in temperature and relative humidity, you will prolong their life significantly. It is estimated that the useful life of paper is cut approximately in half with every eighteen degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature above 68 degrees.  Avoiding storage areas such as attics, garages, and basements, will go a very long way in preserving your materials.  Relocate these materials to a climate-controlled part of your home, such as a main or upper floor bedroom closet or spare room where temperature and relative humidity does not fluctuate greatly (which causes stress to archival formats).  Below are a few more tips to help inspire you this Preservation Week:

  • Minimize handling
  • Fully support items and handle with care
  • Make sure hands are clean
  • Protect items from dust, light, and handling with acid-free boxes, folders, or polyester sleeves
  • Make copies — digital or photocopies
  • Distribute copies geographically
  • Store the original safely and use the copy for display
  • Avoid plastic containers and sleeves that smell like a new shower curtain (PVC); types of safe and inert plastics include polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyester
  • Label photographs on the back with pencil or blue photo pencil (don’t press too hard)
  • Label audio and video recordings
  • When labeling, identify people, places, and dates in detail (use full names)

Interested in more information on how to preserve family history? Visit the American Library Association’s Preservation Week website at http://www.ala.org/alcts/preservationweek.  Here you will find  a whole host of preservation resources, including free on-demand webinars on topics such as caring for your textiles, preserving your digital life, and disaster response Q&A.  Enjoy browsing the “Ask Donia” section in which preservation specialist Donia Conn answers common questions related to preserving archival material, such as “Do I dust my books?” and “What do I do with sticky photo album pages?”

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 937-775-2944 or [email protected].  Have a great week!

About Toni Vanden Bos

I manage preservation efforts in our department, which includes implementing our preservation plan, monitoring environment, assessing collection conditions, improving housing, prioritizing reformatting of vulnerable materials, and developing and implementing the electronic records program with the Collections Manager. I also catalog our manuscript collections, and manage the gift books and journals. Additionally, I arrange and describe collections, provide reference assistance, create exhibits, give presentations, and assist with special events as needed.
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