Tag Archives: Collections

Wrap & Pack Your Family Heirlooms

If you are the designated keeper of your family’s heirlooms, you may wish to gather some knowledge on how best to store them. I feel it is our job to conserve items in the condition they are in, and to help prevent any further deterioration. The overall aim is to keep items from being destroyed by the environment, or by each other. This subject can be technical and complicated, so I’ll try to keep things simple!

Unwrapped items can be affected by moth, bugs, damp, mould. Placing items directly against wooden drawers can also be harmful.

A simple list of what NOT to do might include: avoid damp basements and barns, avoid wrapping items in newspaper or coloured papers, avoid sticky tape, don’t encapsulate, avoid sunlight….. and more.

During my time as Collections Manager at the museum we turned to the Canadian Conservation Institute for guidance. Their scientist and specialists produce a useful set of CCI Notes which described how best to store, clean and care for your artifacts (to museum standards). The wording can be a little technical, but some useful links might be:

Often the best advice is to make acid free covers and boxes, but sourcing the supplies to do this as a private individual can be expensive. For instance minimum orders of 20 point library card, rolls of Mylar or tissue can cost up to $1000. Here I am sharing some affordable items I found locally:

Cotton gloves – Shopper’s Drug Mart (medical) – $2.50

PH Testing Pens – Lines N’ Curves or Brodart (online) – $8

Acid Free Glassine (strong tissue for wrapping and inter-leafing) – Lines N’ Curves (online) packet 100, 16″ x 20″ – $35

Acid Neutral Library Board (strong wrapping card/paper for covers and boxing books) – Michael’s Art Store, Strathmore Artist Papers, Bristol Sheet 500 series, buffered has no ground wood or unbleached pulp, limits of metallic content, free from optical brighteners, a suitable substitute – $5

Mylar safe inert plastic map sheets – Carr McLean (online) for non-sticky encapsulation/protective covers, packet of 5 – $50

Coated Storage Boxes – protective banker’s boxes with lids – Carr McLean (online) – $25 each

Textiles may be store flat in clean white cotton pillow cases. Hanging items can be covered with a clean white cotton sheet. Avoid wrapping in plastic.

Here’s a start…. I’ll go into more detail in the next few posts!

Share Your Family Bible

Family Tree and Genealogy
Leather-bound family Bible for Carnegie  family circa 1880

If you are lucky enough to be the keeper of your family Bible, wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to share its content with other members of your family?

Or maybe you know who holds your Bible, and they can share its contact with you?

Usually within the centre pages these large heavy leather-bound Bibles have family information handwritten by family members. Pages include Family Register, Parents Names, Children’s Names, Marriages, and Deaths.

Photograph the Bible from the outside, then each of the pages within.  Save the contents as an image. The images can then be packaged into one document ready for sharing, in paper format or in PDF by email.

Take a moment to verify the data contained. Cross check the information with your family free. Make a note any additional dates, missing information or incorrect spellings.

The family Bible in my possession features my Paternal Great Grandmother’s parents and grandparents.  The hand-written details  start with Frances Mary (Warner) Carnegie (1846-1928) daughter of William Warner (no dates included) and her husband Alexander Carnegie (1845-1892) the son of James Carnegie (1916-1892).

The family tree information notes he died 4 September 1891 the Bible states 14 September 1892. This mis-match of information will need to researched and clarified.

My Great Grandmother, who I was most fortunate to spend time with during my childhood,  is featured on the Children’s Names page.  Elizabeth Frances born Sept. 5, 1872. She lived until she was age 93 in 1965.

carnegie_family_bible

Introducing Handy Hints – Working with PastPerfect

Museum Software’s PastPerfect is a fabulous package for cataloguing your collection. Ideal for Museums, Historical Societies, art galleries or in fact any organization that has an extensive collection.

This ready-to-use software, doesn’t need be to be built, programmed, and very little customization is required to get going. You can download a trial copy to test it out…. Trial

If you contact me, I am happy to tour you around the trial version. We can discuss what you do today, and how PastPerfect may be of benefit to you.

Importing existing databases can be tricky and a reasonable cost service for this is offered by the Museum Software Group.

I have worked with PastPerfect since 2005 and am situated in Ontario. Through this blog I intend to offer handy hints on best practices for using PastPerfect.

For many years I have participated in a PastPerfect User Group which meets twice a year in Southern Ontario.  Drop me a line if you’d like to join this group.

A service to photograph and document artifacts.
A service to photograph and document artifacts.