Thursday, 19 October 2017

Preserving and Procrastination

What happens when a Family History historian hears about a problem with archiving pictures and doesn’t act upon that information until sometime afterwards? 
I know I am talking to the choir, so I will just say one word…disaster.
Recently I have begun working with a long term genealogist and local historian in my community to begin archiving his years of work and accumulation of both pictures and records.  The first thing he brought out to identify, digitalize, and catalog, was his wife’s old pictures that had been carefully put in the old Sticky Album Pages. He knew that the sticky paper could cause problems with the pictures, but had procrastinated removing them to a safer medium.

What we found was the pictures had actually melded with the sticky backing and could not be easily removed without a risk of the picture tearing. The color pictures had faded although the black and white ones were not affected in appearance. Polaroid pictures did not stick. 

The first task was to work on breaking the glue bond. He kept saying I cannot believe the pages have welded together. The work was tedious, to follow the instructions per the recommended video by the Smithsonian Institute for saving your pictures from sticky paper.
We cut the hard board sheets the pictures were glued to and then proceeded to ease the pictures off with a thin blade or floss, which ever was working.

I then scanned the pictures and sorted them according to date, and family. We are now in the process of putting the originals in new acid free albums and storing according to Surname and Place if applicable.

The moral of my short story is don’t put off what you know you NEED to do because in the long run it will cost you more time.

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