Once you’ve found those precious records of ancestors, after often painstaking research, the next important task is to ensure they are stored and protected safely. Standard PVC sleeves can suffer from leaching of plasticizer which lifts print off pages and ruins those valuable certificates.
To ensure your collection of certificates and research documents are preserved in pristine condition, we’ve listed 5 tools that every family historian should have in their possession to guard against damage to those precious documents.
- Certificate Binders
High-quality ring binders are available in standard A3 and A4 sizes, or the specially designed ‘Long Certificate’ binders (which can hold both the old ‘long’ style and the new style A4 certificates. A binder is essential to protect certificates or photos or any other memorabilia.
- Springback Binders
Unlike ring binders, you don’t have to punch any holes in the paper- simply choose the sheets you want, fold the covers of the binder back, and place the paper into the spine. You can add or remove pages as many times as you like.
- Storage Boxes
If you have objects or memorabilia that won’t fit into a binder, it’s worth looking at a special storage box, designed to protect your items from damage. Certain specialist boxes come lined with lignin-free paper and are designed to protect against acidity and sulphur in the air.
- Acid free pens and paper
Another tip is to use acid free pens which can be used to write on most surfaces such as photographs, charts, paper or card without causing worry or damage.
- Acid free photo tape and glue
If you need to stick or repair any documents, it is essential to use acid free tape to help preserve those documents. Ensure you use non-yellowing tape as this can really ruin the look of your old original and make it hard to read.
- Brass Archival Paperclips (non rusting)
We all like to keep our documents and notes together. For particularly valuable and fragile documents, if you want to keep them together with paperclips, be sure to use archival paperclips which are non rusting and not liable to leave a mark on your research material!
- Archival Cotton Gloves
Finally, to handle all those precious keepsakes and documents, it’s worth investing in a pair of archival quality protective gloves, avoiding any unnecessary damage caused by the natural acidity of bare skin.
S&N Genealogy Supplies provide a full range of archival supplies to help you protect your valuable research. Find out more at the S&N website.
Can you think of any other invaluable tools that can help family historians protect their documents and keepsakes? Let us know in the comments below!