Quick Preservation Tips!

These great tips come from the American Library Association with pictures taken from Palmer’s Chiropractic Archives. Learn more at http://www.ala.org/alcts/preservationweek

Take the First Step

The most important part of a preservation effort is taking the first step. Don’t let the pursuit of perfection be an obstacle to getting started. A simple first step like moving photos out of the attic or basement to a bedroom closet will have a significant impact.

Basic Factors

Factors to consider are temperature, relative humidity, light, pests, mold, water leaks and risk of flooding, and handling.


Temperature and Humidity

  • Get your keepsakes out of the attic or the basement
  • Keep them in a climate-controlled part of your home
  • Avoid extremes in temperature and relative humidity



  • Minimize handling and handle with care
  • Fully support items
  • Make sure hands are clean



  • Protect items from dust, light, and handling with acid-free boxes, folders, or polyester sleeves
  • Make copies—digital or photocopies
  • Distribute copies geographically (among family members, for example)
  • Store the original safely and use the copy for display
  • Avoid plastic containers and sleeves that smell like a new shower curtain (PVC); types of safe and inert plastics includes polyethylene and polypropylene




Label, Label, Label

  • One of the greatest risks to photographs and audio and video recordings is poor or missing labels
  • Items are unidentifiable without a descriptive label
  • Use pencil when writing on the back of photos
  • Identify people, places, and dates in detail (instead of “Mom,” write Mom’s full name)


If you’re not sure… ask someone

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