Thursday, April 10, 2008

4 ways to protect your Family History Photos

The visual history of your ancestors is possibly the most important part of your family history because it is the part that breathes life into the stories and vital statistics. While searching for your family's history, you may have come across many pictures or a few, but no matter what you have accumulated, you definitely want to make sure it lasts for the generations to come.
Get some cotton gloves. The first thing you want to do whenever you are dealing with photographs is wash your hands and get some white cotton gloves. By far the most damaging thing you can do to your photos is love them to death. Besides fingerprints, the oils on your fingers can do lots of damage even when you are careful.
Keep them in the living area of your home. Keeping your photographs where you live will do a lot to protect them from temperature fluctuation, humidity, insects, and dust. Closets or bookshelves are much better than an attic or basement. The comfort that you like for your surroundings is also very comfortable for your photos.
Make a copy that you can enjoy. Make a good quality copy and keep the copy out where it can inspire you and help you in your family history endeavors. A good copy will allow you to put away the original to protect it from light and dust, two big enemies of your photos. Generation Maps canvas giclee reproductions are a great archival way to enjoy your history and decorate your home. And Generation Maps decorative charts can help you display one or may pictures with the genealogy information in their family context. Let the copies show the people around you how important your family is to you.
Keep the most precious photos put away for future generations. Once you have a copy, lay them flat interleaved with unbuffered tissue paper in short archival photo boxes the size of the picture. Keep like sized photos in the same box and have several different sized boxes for each size of picture so that a smaller photo doesn't leave uneven pressure marks on a larger photo that it is stacked with. Label the outside of the boxes to keep handling to a minimum when you are looking for a certain picture.

With a few simple precautions, your pictures will be around for many generations to come.

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