Professional Genealogist

Preserving your family history materials is crucial for passing down the stories and memories of your ancestors to future generations. While these items may be fragile and susceptible to deterioration, following some best practices can help protect and preserve them effectively.

Start with what you know

Gather any information you already have about your family members, such as names, birthdates, and places of birth. Talk to your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to see if they have any family documents, photos, or stories that could provide clues about your ancestors.

Store items in a cool dry place

Avoid storing items in basements or attics where temperature and humidity levels can fluctuate. Instead, opt for a room with stable temperature and humidity, like a bedroom or closet. This will minimize the risk of deterioration.

preserve genealogy documents

Use archival-quality storage materials

Invest in acid-free paper, folders, boxes, and polyester sleeves specifically designed for long-term preservation. These materials will protect your items from deterioration and damage caused by acidic components.

Digitize items for long-term preservation

Creating digital copies of your family documents, photos, and artifacts is a great way to ensure their long-term preservation. Use a scanner, camera, or smartphone camera to capture high-resolution images. Save the files in a format that will remain accessible in the future.

Share items online with family members

Uploading and sharing your family history materials on websites and platforms dedicated to genealogy, such as Ancestry, MyHeritage, or FamilySearch, allows you to connect with relatives and preserve your family’s history. Alternatively, you can create a private family website or social media group

Handle items with care

When handling delicate items, such as old photographs or fragile documents, wear gloves to prevent oils and dirt from damaging them. Use a soft brush to gently clean artifacts, and avoid using adhesives or staples on documents, as they can cause irreversible damage.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your family history materials are well-preserved and accessible to future generations. The combination of proper storage, digitization, and careful handling will safeguard these precious items and their stories for years to come.