Do you have family archives? – paper, photographs, film and slides, possibly hidden away in dusty boxes?

Would you like to know more about what can damage them, and how to care for them appropriately so future generations can enjoy them?

If yes, then you may want to come along to an event on Saturday 18 November at the Sedgwick Museum to speak with an Archivist – someone who organises and preserves records which have long term value.

What can damage my records?

Some of the ‘nasties’ found in archive collections (and other items too!)

Many of the treasures that we inherit from our ancestors are extremely vulnerable because they are often organic based, i.e. the main ingredient is made by nature.  Most of the records you have at home are probably made from paper, and are therefore at risk from damp, mould, insects and pollution. They can also be affected by unsuitable packaging and frequent or careless handling. Light is also very damaging- the effects are accumulative and cannot be reversed.

Pest damage to maps and plans stored in a shed
The damage caused by one rusty paperclip
Water damage to the outside of a 19th century photo album

What should I do?

Keep records in files and boxes – away from potential hazards, extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. You can purchase specialist acid-free products which will offer further protection.  Don’t try and repair anything that is already damaged – you will need to speak to a paper conservator who will be able to give you some advice.

Acid free folders

What’s happening on 18 November?

Sandra Freshney will have a stall showing some of the ‘nasties’ that can be found amongst your treasures, and examples of the materials which can be used to protect them.  Drop in to see the small display and take away some literature, or for more detailed information, please make an appointment with Sandra on 01223 333456. Sessions run from 11am to 3pm and take place in the Sedgwick Museum (near the William Smith map!).

Tweet Tweet…..

There are a number of # for the campaign (including #ediblearchives and #hairyarchives!) so keep an eye out. Perhaps you’d like to get involved too…..

Visit  for information about events taking place across the UK and Ireland.