Apr 30 2020
Preservation Week occurs each spring for museums and libraries to show the importance of saving materials for the future. Letters, photos, meeting minutes, genealogy information, and much more should be kept for their historical significance. It is not only the collections held by museums and libraries that need attention, personal collections can also benefit. Light, pollutants, and moisture cause problems for objects but it is just as important to document memories or history behind objects.
There are several activities you can do to help preserve your personal collection.
- Gather photo albums and label photos • It is great to label photos either using the margins of the photo album or gently writing down the names and dates on the back of the photo in pencil. If writing on the photo, please barely press or the indention will show through.
- Back-up digital photos • Many photos only exist in one digital space like on your phone or the cloud. A back-up is needed in case something happens to that device or you are locked out of the account. Save images or documents to an external hard-drive, flash-drive, or transfer items to the cloud. When backing-up, it would also be a great time to divide those photos by years, or trip, or personal preference.
- Share stories with one another • Children can ask their parents or grandparents about what they did as children or their favorite things to do. It is a great idea to record these using an app and save them.
- Create a time capsule as a family • A traditional capsule does go in the ground but you can create a box that can be stored in your attic, basement, or back of the closet. Gather items that each member of the family wishes to add like photos, stuffed animals, books, or cards. Ask each other some of their favorite activities or shows and write down their answers. Compile everything and close the box. Put a label on the outside and a date of when it can be opened. For personal capsules, you can choose the date of 10, 15, and 50 years or anytime.
- Write a journal entry • With the current events, now is an excellent time to take a moment and write down your experiences, what you have been doing, favorite recipes, hobbies, and so forth. It does not need to be anything fancy- a quick list is a great option. Make sure it is kept in a safe place. Journals are an excellent way to keep memories that either you can reflect on in future years or share with future family members.
Schedule your visit to the EVPL Preservation Studio to preserve your memories. You can also enjoy part of EVPL’s historical collection in our Digital Archive.