Preserving Your Family History Memories - 2011

By Shirley-Ann Pyefinch
Ottawa Ontario Stake Family History Centre
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Email: [email protected]
 Definition of preservation or conservation
 What is the preservation or conservation of your family
history memories?
Who to turn to for conservation needs?
What are some typical types of family history objects?
What to keep?
How to preserve your family history? (Handling and
storage practices, digital preservation, disaster planning,
Resources available to help you
What is Preservation or Conservation?
 “All actions aimed at the safeguarding of cultural
property for the future.
The purpose of conservation is to study, record, retain
and restore the culturally significant qualities of the
object with the least possible intervention.”
What is the preservation or
conservation of your family history memories?
All actions aimed at safeguarding your family
history objects for the future, regardless of media
or format.
Who to turn to for Conservation
 Canadian Association for Conservation
 “Selecting and Employing a Conservator in Canada.”
Finding a Professional Conservator
•Canadian Association of Professional Conservators
Using a professional conservator
Courtesy of Kyla Ubbink’s Treatment Gallery on her website at:
Before and After Treatment
(Courtesy of Kyla Ubbink’s Treatment Gallery on her website - )
What are some typical types of
family history objects?
 Paper documents
 Photographs
 Books
 Textiles
 Audio and Visual
 Artifacts - paintings,
sculptures, etc.
What to keep?
Family History Information Resources:
1. People
2. Documents (civil, church, military, school, etc.)
3. Publications (books, newspapers, etc.)
4. Audio & Visual Recordings (CDs, DVDs, tape
cassettes, etc.)
5. Internet (Google, familysearch, ancestry, blogs,
forums, etc.)
6. Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc.
7. Paper & Electronic records
What to keep? You may have to be selective in what
you decide to keep, choosing the best items of archival or
enduring value.
Journals, books, audio and
visual recordings
Original Records/Documents
How to preserve your family
 Quality products
 A conservator
 Storage and handling practices
 Environment
Using the best quality products
 Paper – acid free paper
 CDs – high quality CDs
 Toner – manufacturer’s
 Archival safe products
Storage and Handling Practices
 Understanding and caring for photographic materials
Care and Handling of Negatives
 Optimum 2 degrees Celsius
 Temperatures below 21 degrees Celsius are
 RH 25 % (+-5%)
Caring and Handling of Photographs
 Same general care as negatives
 Framing Techniques
 Safe storage
 RH 30% to 35 %
 15 to 25 degrees Celsius
Photo Albums
 Photo albums are another alternative for photo
PAT –Photographic Activity Test
 Look for photographic products that are PAT tested
 PAT = ISO Standard 14523
 Archival quality in photographic enclosures
 Also tests components:
-tapes, etc.
Digital Archiving of Family Photographs
Identify where you have digital files
Decide which files are most important
Organize the selected files
Make copies and store them in different places
Have a data migration strategy
Recommend the US Library of Congress – Digital Preservation:
 Video: “Why Digital Preservation is Important for You.”
Have a Disaster Recovery Plan for
Your Family History
• What is a disaster recovery plan?
• Develop your own disaster recovery plan.
• Identify essential records
• Off-site storage
• Accessibility
• Divide and assign
Responsibilities to various family members
Classification of Disasters
 Floods, Hurricanes,
Earthquakes, etc.
 Hazardous material
spills, Infrastructure
failure, Security breaches,
Viruses, Fires, etc.
Control Measures
Control Measures in a
Disaster Recovery Plan
Preventative measures
2. Detective measures
3. Corrective measures
Document your controls
and test them
Care and Handling of Books
 Careful handling
 Avoid bookmarks, adhesive tapes, pressing
flowers and storing newspaper clippings
 Clean your books and inspect annually
 Optimum storage temperatures
18 to 20 degrees Celsius
 RH for books with leather bindings
45 to 55 %
 Prevent fading
Preserving Paper Documents
 Optimum storage 2o degrees Celsius
 RH 30%
 Choose the right kind of paper for the
right job
 Meet strength requirements
 Use supports when handling
fragile documents and store horizontally
Understanding the Stability of
Photocopied Documents
 Use permanent copy paper
 Toner
 Lighting
 Temperature
 Avoid direct contact with plastics
(PVC=Polyvinyl chloride)
 Instead use polypropylene or Mylar
Containers for Storage
Containers for Storage
Visual and Audio Recordings
 Preservation copying
 Best storage temperature
 Keep magnetic tapes away
from magnetic sources
 Does the player still work?
 Store in cases to protect from dust
and exposure to light
 Ideal temperatures is 8 degrees
Celsius, RH=25%
CDs and DVDs
 Ideal temperature is at 23 degrees
RH = 35 to 55%
Store in low light, vertical position
in jewel cases
Lifespan or longevity is unknown
Best way to clean a CD or DVD is
with compressed air
Avoid CD labels
Use archival quality CDs and DVDs
 Documenting and Sharing Our Work
 Providing Safe Storage
 Careful Handling
 Stable Temperature and Relative Humidity
 Being Prepared for Emergencies by Having a Disaster
Recovery Plan
Preventative care is the best form of conservation!
 Canadian Conservation Institute – CCI
U.S. Library of Congress
Canadian Association for Conservation – CAC
Canadian Association of Professional Conservators – CAPC
American Institute for Conservation – AIC
International Institute for Conservation – IIC
Carr McLean (Canadian Archival Supplier)
Thank you for coming! My email: [email protected]

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