Are you the designated guardian of your family photos and archival treasures? If you are, I hope you’re protecting things properly.
Edmonton historian laureate Marlena Wyman and the Provincial Archives of Alberta offer some great tips.
1. Make sure your treasures aren’t being damaged by sunlight and damp. (Keep them out of your basement, if you can.)
2. Never (ever!) use glue, tape, staples, metal paper clips or elastics. And make sure the paper and plastic storage products you use are “archive-safe” and acid free.
3. Get get rid of those old magnetic-style photo albums. (They can make your photos impossible to remove.)
4. Store documents flat or roll them in acid-free tubes. (Paper eventually deteriorates and rips where it’s folded.)
5. Use a soft (6B lead) pencil to label things—never ink or felt pens. And be sure to write on the back edges of your photos (not the middle).
6. Back up your videos, CDs, DVDs and audio cassettes regularly, on a variety of media. (CDs and DVDs have a short lifespan, and the equipment to play them will eventually be obsolete.)