Chances are, if you are a family historian, you might also be a bit of a hoarder. The first tooth, the first shoes, jewelry, retirement gifts, christening gowns, communion certificates, ration books, tapestries and home movies. You name it. I've got it.
Have I mentioned I live in a sub-tropical climate?
Being the keeper of family stories, I know that my aunt's home went up in flames in the early 60s and that my parents lost many of their wedding gifts. They were living overseas at the time and much of their stuff was "in storage" at Hazel's place. Australia is famous for its fires....and its floods. Post-tropical cyclone Debbie made a bit of an impact on the Queensland coast recently in case you missed the news.
How do we protect our keepsakes and preserve them for future generations?
Shauna Hicks recently published for the Unlock the Past series a booklet called Your Family History Archives: a brief introduction. You might just want to check it out.
If you can't get hold of the book, the Library of Congress has some wonderful advice here under their Preservation FAQs section. And look at this marvellous list of links from Harvard Uni. And of course our very own National Archives of Australia also have a page about Looking After Your Family Archive.
Remember! Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
I'd better take my own advice and do a bit of preservation and digitization over the Easter weekend.
How about you?