Did you know that each of us can help preserve our nation’s history? As spring cleaning is underway, many in our community will be left to contemplate how to preserve new-found treasures. That old letter from Grandma, or that 1970s vacation photo collecting dust in your attic may hold clues to our nation’s past. The theme of Preservation Week is “Pass it on,” and your Decatur Public Library offers a selection of materials that can assist you in protecting your heirlooms for generations to come.
Key environmental factors that place collections at risk*
- Light: Ultraviolet rays from natural and artificial sources can cause fading and disintegration.
- Pollutants: Dust is abrasive and can accelerate harmful chemical reactions.
- Heat: High temperatures can accelerate deterioration.
- Moisture: High humidity promotes mold growth, corrosion, and degradation, while excessive dryness can cause drying and cracking. Fluctuations between extremes can cause warping, buckling and flaking.
Key items that should be preserved
Historical materials that are unpublished and one-of-a-kind, such as:
- architectural drawings
- audio and video recordings
- genealogical information
- photo albums and photographs
- printed materials
- professional and business papers
Throughout this week we will have a page on our website devoted to resources to help YOU preserve your own special collections. You will also find a list of books we have that are devoted to how to care for specific types of collections and object. So stop by our website and learn how to make sure that your family history carries on!
Preservation Week is sponsored by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association.
* Source: Utah State History Website: http://history.utah.gov/experience_history/preserve_history/documents_photos.html