SLAGIAT = “Seemed like a good idea at the time.” In the past, conservators used poisons like cyanide and arsenic (!) to kill insects and other pests. Even though they didn’t always work. Eeeek. After apologizing for preaching to the converted, a conservator on a professional email list had this to say: More than one […]

If you’re tackling a family photo project, you’ll need to think about what kind of storage supplies will work best for you. Basically, you have two choices when choosing an album or photo storage box:1. Paper.2. Plastic. The good news is you can find high quality archival storage products made out of either material. But […]

You probably know that scratches on a CD or DVD can make them un-playable. If you have young children or work in a public library, you know this only too well. I’ve safely cleaned smudges off of pre-recorded DVDs using a soft cloth dampened with a little water, but I’ve never attempted to remove scratches. […]

Have you heard of the NHPRC? That’s the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. It is the only national U.S. agency dedicated solely to the preservation of historical records. No buildings. No farm implements. Just documents. NHPRC. (Pssst…they give grants.) Back in the late 90s I worked for the Wisconsin affiliate, the Wisconsin Historical Records […]

There’s controversy brewing in Tuscaloosa. (Never thought I’d open a blog entry with that sentence, but life is full of surprises, ennit?) I read on Dear MYRTLE’s blog about plans in Tuscaloosa to scan historic ledgers and dump the originals. Myrt linked to an article in the University of Alabama student paper, where I read […]

Tulsa’s buried car isn’t the only time capsule ruined by leaking water and mud. When I was a eight years old, my hometown decided to bury a time capsule. It was 1976 — the U.S.’s bicentennial — and everyone had History Fever! The opening of the time capsule was scheduled for July 4, 2000, which […]

One of the most basic rules of preservation is this: If you want something to last fifty years or more, do NOT store it underground.* Why oh why do otherwise rational humans insist on burying their treasures? What you see in the amazing photo above is the most common kind of damage you get when […]

A while back, I took a first stab at answering a reader’s question about flash drives. He wanted to know if they were safe for long term storage. Here’s what I said (cue time machine music):——————————– I got an email from a new subscriber to my newsletter. He was asking me to update my free-with-subscription […]

.Variety has an interesting article about how to preserve movies that were captured digitally. The news is not so good. Sony’s Vice President of asset management and film restoration says Sony’s archiving program includes migrating every two to three years. Great idea, but keep in mind that the amount of data to be migrated is […]


by Sally J.

I’ve created an acronym for something I find myself repeating over and over and over whenever I’m answering questions about how to keep your family treasures safe. Seemed like a good idea at the time (SLAGIAT). There are things you can do to a photograph today that won’t look like they’ve caused any damage. But […]