New York Times best-selling author, television host and library advocate Brad Meltzer will serve as 2015 Honorary Chair of Preservation Week, April 26 – May 2, 2015, a time when libraries throughout the country will provide information and expertise on how to archive and preserve individual and institutional treasures.
U.S. libraries hold 3 billion items, while other institutions hold an additional 1.8 billion items. A treasure trove of uncounted additional items are held by individuals, families, and communities. Of the 4.8 billion items, 1.3 billion are at risk of being lost due to light exposure, improper storage and lack of disaster planning.
Key environmental factors that place records of our creativity and history at risk are:
- 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
You can help to preserve your family’s collections for future generations with a few simple preservation techniques and supplies. Learn the basics, the supplies needed, and view examples of completed collections:
Library of Congress:
- Digital collections are growing fast, and their formats quickly become obsolete advice about archiving personal digital material can be found here. Check out the video on why digital preservation is important for you and the step-by-step instructions in this informative brochure
- Simple instructions for preserving family treasures and caring for collections with links to more comprehensive information grouped by topic and type of material.
Society of American Archivist:
- Society of American Archivists, Selected Links to Preservation Web Sites. Links to a wide variety of web sites with preservation information.
President Obama once wrote, “Part of America's genius has always been its ability to absorb newcomers, to forge a national identity out of the disparate lot that arrived on our shores.” The memories and treasures of individuals, families, and communities are essential to our record of this process—they contribute to our understanding of history and its participants just as collections in libraries, museums, and archives do.