Monday, October 06, 2008

Treasure Chest

Archival Box
Originally uploaded by midgefrazel
In this century, a treasure chest should look like this archival box that I purchased from University Products, whose name I got from Maureen Taylor's book, Preserving Your Family Photographs" [pages 25-26].

The box (aka treasure chest) is Item # 612-1713, Flat Clamshell Storage Box, Blue/Gray E. Flute and it cost $16.11. I decided upon some bags to hold my photographs (see photo here) Item #533-PAB-533-8100, 8x10, 10 bags for $12.55. I ordered these items together, online, on 9/23 and they arrived via UPS at my door on 9/25. I was impressed with the service and the quality of the materials.

It has taken me several days to get the photos and the "family papers" in one location to archive. The papers consist of newspapers clippings, a will, instructions and payment for a gravestone and general memorabilia. I decided to put those in the Heavyweight Presentation Sheet Protectors (from Avery-Dennison) that I use for my general genealogy materials. They are suitable for storage of papers but not really good enough for photographs. I buy them 200 at a time at my local Costco. Since they are not marked as having passed the PAT (Photo Activity Test) for interaction between photos and their surrounding enclosures but are marked as acid-free, non-PVC and archival safe, I feel comfortable putting non photographic materials in them.

I have learned that polypropylene, archival safe and acid free are three terms every genealogist should look for when purchasing materials to archiving their treasures. University Products has a great page of archival terms and their definitions.

In this lengthy process, I have accomplished many of the goals I have set. The photographs, papers and the family Bible are all in one location. I have made a list of which items have been scanned and which ones I have to do. The scanned items are backed up to CD and two USB based portable hard drives. I have read Sally Jacob's archival document and Maureen's Taylor's book. I would like to purchase more of these photo bags. but I wish they sold a multi-pack of different sizes as I need a few smaller/larger ones. I may try a local scrapbook store.

I have begun to think about a document that describes each photograph and family paper as a treasure map for my daughter and any future descendants I might have. Knowing who these people are and how they relate to them may keep them from throwing out these "funny old photos"!

I only have one unexplained document and it is a newspaper clipping about the Evans family name. It lists several families in New England with this surname but I am not sure if any are mine. I have photocopied this clipping and will try to puzzle it out later.


Denise Levenick said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful treasure chest you have created. I know that your fellow bloggers will enjoy reading about your efforts. Thanks for "hunting."

Anonymous said...

Excellent, informative post. I enjoyed reading it and will try to put some of your suggestions to use.

JoLyn said...

This is great, Midge - I need to take a lesson!