YOUR FAMILY ANCESTORS DON’T DESERVE
TO BE TREATED THIS WAY
Are your keeping old family portraits, that represent the history of your family, in the attic or basement and stashed in a box? Are the photos you have been taking just on your camera or your phone?
Most probably you will be losing those precious memories of your loved ones if you don’t do something about it. Here are some suggestions about what you might want to do to preserve them for generations to come.
Whether you need to create a space in your home for the safekeeping of family photos or must move them to a storage unit, there are several steps you can take to ensure they are protected.
To preserve printed images
• Keep them In an area that is dry, with good ventilation and a constant temperature between 70°F and 40°F (not the basement, garage or attic)
• Keep them away from any source of light, specially sun and fluorescent. Light, can make the prints fade. Store them in places that are part of your living quarters, with climate controlled. DON’T: Store photos near a heating or cooling vents. DO: Store photos off the ground when possible
• If you have to store them in a storage, select one that is climate controlled and keep them away from the floor.
• An ideal container for storing printed pictures would have a sealed, water-resistant exterior, such as plastic, and soft but stiff dividers to separate prints on the inside.
• Handle the prints with white cotton gloves
• Remove paper clips, rubber bands.
• If the prints are glued or stock together do not try to remove or separate them.
• Identify them with soft pencil without applying pressure on the back. Put not only the name(s) of the person(S) on the photo, add whom they were related to.
• Store them in archival envelopes and an archival box. They must be made specially to preserve photographs. (Acid free does not offer the same protection as archival).
• Use stiff flat materials and store them flat.
• Avoid any kind of adhesives vinyl pages, magnetic photo albums, plastic containers except those that are specially made to store photos
• It never hurts to make copies of your photos, even after taking steps to preserve them in storage.
• If you want to display them, have them professionally scanned and have good copies done in archival paper with archival inks
• If your most precious memories are torn, stained, missing parts have them professionally restored. You will get what you pay for if you scan them yourself and have them restored in one of those cheap places you find in the internet.
To preserve digital images
You are probably taking thousands of pictures now, more than at any other time, and they are spread across phones, cameras, memory cards, computers and tablets, giving you a hard time trying to organize them. Digital memories aren’t meant to languish on phones, laptops or social networking pages. Think about your children and grand children wanting to see photos of their parent’s childhood.
• Make a habit of downloading them to your computer.
• Don’t relay on just downloading them to the Cloud. Access to your photos on a cloud server isn’t always guaranteed when you want it, and there’s the danger that the server will be hacked, disappear or go out of business, and take your photos with it. Back them up to your computer and CDs.
• Next you’ll want to organize your photos in a way that makes sense for you.
• Create a folder and name it in a way that makes sense to you.
Organize your photos in a way that makes sense to you. Here are some ideas on how to organize them
• Delete unwanted photos—those that are blurry, show the kids with closed eyes, or are nearly identical to another, slightly better, shot.
• Labeling folders by a date and event is a simple way to identify them and make them easy to find
• Create a folder for each month and label it with the year, and month and leave it on your desktop
• For each event, create a folder and name it with the date and name of the event and move it to the monthly folder.
• Save the monthly folder inside a folder named with the year.
• Back them up to the Cloud, Flickr or Dropbox and DVDs.
• Don’t think that the DVDs will last forever. Remember the floppy disks? Don’t let your photos get stuck on obsolete storage media: Transfer them to new media as technology advances. You’ll also want to keep tabs on available file formats for digital photos, and if necessary, save your pictures in new formats so they’ll be accessible to your relatives in the future.
• Thinking that in the Cloud will be safe? The Cloud is not safe from Hacking or the companies that host it or going bankrupt.
• Have the very special images (not every one) printed on archival paper with archival ink (don’t have them printed by your local drug store or on hour home printer).
Keep your most your most treasured memories in one area to make it easy to grab them if you have to evacuate. Just put your safety first.