Whether it’s your great-grandmother’s wedding dress or your grandpa’s diaries, you certainly want to keep your family heirlooms safe for future generations to treasure. You may, however, have no idea how to do that. Read on for tips and tricks to help you preserve your family heirlooms and their stories.
The first step in preserving your family heirlooms for posterity is wrapping them well in archival safe tissue or paper and placing them in archival safe folders or boxes. For a product to be archival safe, it must be chemically stable and as acid-free as possible. Some people also insist that their wrapping and storage products be lignin-free as well. Lignin is a substance found in wood pulp that can break down and become acidic over time.
You must also make sure that your family heirlooms are stored safely in a place that is secure against fire, water or light damage. You might put small items in a safe deposit box, but larger items should be placed away from sunlight and humidity. Also consider purchasing special archive storage shelving Minneapolis MN if you need to find secure spots for many items.
Be sure to label your items well so you do not constantly have to remove wrappings to see what is in each package or box. Write the name of the object, the person with whom it is associated and a short description. Remember to use archival safe labels, too. Also keep a computer document that lists all your heirlooms, their locations and their conditions.
Finally, don’t just preserve objects; preserve their stories, too. Record as much as you know about each heirloom either in writing, by audio or both. Future generations will appreciate knowing all about the item’s original owner and purpose.
Your heirlooms are not just yours. Rather, they belong to your family members, now and in the future, so care for them well.