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Most of us have items we need to preserve so that they may be passed down to future generations. Such items would include documents which are by now brown with age and perhaps worm ridden, torn, rolled up, brittle and so forth. We may have our grandfather’s hammer or an old quilt.

Such treasure must be preserved.

The other day I saw an article in the local newspaper about a 400+ year old birth register originally from Spain in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. It was being held in a nun’s hands to be photographed for the paper. It had mold, insect holes, and discoloration. It showed many signs of its age. But I worried that the oil on the nun’s hands might be degrading that precious piece of paper. So I sent them an e-mail asking how they were preserving the documents.

They answerd promptly that they had consulted with the National Archives and the Carnegie Institution on how best to preserve those leaves from further damage in St. Augustine’s humid environment. Technicians in both institutions recommended the application of a process developed at the U.S. Bureau of Standards. It consisted of laminating each leaf in a protective sheath of transparent cellulose-diacetate foil. It was done at the National Archives in 1939 for the church.

I do not have such documents of that age, but I do have original Civil War orders for my grandfather and other documents I wish to preserve. They too are not on acid-free paper, are brown with age and beginning to seriously deteriorate. So I went to www.lightimpressions.com and ordered ultraclear, sealable bags, product number 20725. They measure 9 5/16″ by 12 5/16″ of 1.5 mil polypropylene. I now save important documents in them, attaching the Source Number label on the outside. Light Impressions sells many such items which help to preserve.

In my classes I am often asked what to do with paper items which have been folded for many years and become extremely brittle. There is a web site which well describes how to hydrate and return such items to a savageable condition.   <<http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~george/preserving_photos.html>>.

There are several places one might go for assistance in preservation efforts. They include Northeast Document Conservation Center at  www.nedcc.org and  the American Institute of Conservation athttp://www.conservation-us.org/. Many larger libraries and some states also have such advisory groups.


Most of us have items we need to preserve so that they may be passed down to future generations. Such items would include documents which are by now brown with age and perhaps worm ridden, torn, rolled up, brittle and so forth. We may have our grandfather’s hammer or an old quilt.
Such treasure must be preserved.
The other day I saw an article in the local newspaper about a 400+ year old birth register from Spain in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. It was being held in a nun’s hands to be photographed fofr the paper. It had mold, insect holes, discoloration, showing many signs of its age. But I worried that the oil on the nun’s hands might be degrading that precious piece of paper. So I sent them an e-mail asking how they were preserving the documents.
They answerd promptly that they had consulted with the National Archives and the Carneigie Institution on how best to preserve those leaves from further damage in St. Augustine’s humid environment. Technicians in both institutions recommended the application of a new process developed at the U.S. Bureau of Standards. It consisted of laminating each leaf in a protective sheath of transparent cellulose-diacetate foil. It waas done at the National Archives in 1939 for the church.
I do not have such documents of that age, but I do have original Civil War orders for my grandfather and other documents I wish to preserve. They too are not on acid-free paper, are brown with age and beginning to seriously deteriorate. So I went to www.lightimpressions.com and ordered ultraclear, sealable bags, product number 20725. They measure 9 5/16″ by 12 5/16″ of 1.5 mil polypropylene. I now save important documents in them, attaching the Source Number label on the outside. Light Impressions sells many such items which help to preserve.
In my classes I am often asked what to do with paper items which have been folded for many years and become extremely brittle. There is a web site which well describes how to hydate and return such items to a savageable condition.
<<http://www.iigs.org/newsletter/9906news/olddocs.htm.en>>.
There are several places one might go for assistance in preservation efforts. They include www.nedcc.org (for books) and www.alc.org for the American Istitute of Conservators. Many larger libraries and some states have such advisory groups.
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