Over the weekend my husband inherited some old family letters. Saturday night we stayed up late, until about 2:30am (I guess that’s actually Sunday morning) reading the letters out loud to each other. We discovered things about his grandma and great grandparents that might have been lost in time had the letters not been here to tell the stories. Sounds kinda silly, but of all the romantic things we’ve done together this one ranks pretty high on my list. We decided that it was our duty to share these treasures with the rest of the family. So I started doing a bit of research on preserving and framing old documents and photos. Here is what I found…
- Don’t scan or copy your old letters or documents with a copy machine. The light from the copier will actually damage the ink on the document making it fade pretty rapidly. (wow, we were just days from scanning in the letters so we could e-mail them to the family). The safer way to capture these items is to take a digital photo with a high resolution camera and download on to your computer.
- If you want to frame your document or photo make sure it does not touch the glass. Over time it will stick to glass. If you’re not planning to frame old photographs, store them in plastic sleeves in binders to avoid deterioration.
- Use a acid free and non-acid producing mat and mounting board to avoid discoloration.
- Choose between glass and acrylic wisely. Glass protects most mediums, but can be expensive, very heavy and is breakable. Acrylic is light weight, durable, but is not scratch resistant.
What a plethora of knowledge I stumbled upon. I found a great article put out by the Conservation Outreach Program at the Minnesota Historical Society going over, in great detail, how the preserve our documents and photos. I also had seen an episode of the Nate Berkus show a while back and remember him discussing the topic and having some great ideas. I can’t wait to share these precious memories with our family.