By Howard Berndes
The fast growing hobby of Genealogy of tracing back your ancestors has become a national phenomenon. Made ever popular by the BBC TV series, Who Do You Think You Are which draws a huge and avid audience every week as it follows each celebrity quest to find out more about their forebears. However, what a lot of people aren’t aware of when they start the journey back in time is the perils of not looking after their family documents, photos and certificates safely.
Every day images are lost and not developed, letters and memorabilia or family heirlooms are thrown away or irretrievably damaged. Photography is still a relatively new invention in terms of our history. Before then it was only the domain of the wealthy to have portraits painted of their family by artists who toured the country for commissions. Then fire, apart from the nature decay of the materials used at the time and sunlight, was probably the greatest risk to passing down these paintings and family documents and certificates, yet whilst still an inherent risk, it is not now the only cause of worry.
The digital revolution has changed all that but digital cameras, mobile phones or PCs may not be the secure option that you may think. Electronic devices are constantly being out-dated, lost or stolen. Your computer can crash or become beyond repair. Formats are changing at an alarming rate and become defunct or your online photography company could even go bust taking all of your precious images with it.
Downloading your photos or files on to disc and storing them correctly can protect them for future generations, however even this method has its risks. Many CD cases are made of PVC and therefore contribute to CD rot, this along with the problem of scratches, dust and be simply mislaid.
Likewise, the traditional way of storing family photos in slip-in or traditional albums can have its shortcomings. Many slip-in albums use sleeves made with PVC, a plastic that has very poor storage qualities, which can accelerate the deterioration of your photographs as they contain harmful glues that tend to destroy photos over a very short time. Traditional albums, especially older albums, would not have used lignum free paper and the impurities in the paper will over time have a lasting detrimental effect on the family photos. This can be avoided however, by using non-PVC acid free polypropylene or polyester. These are chemically inert acid-free material which has long term archival qualities
The one of best way whilst it may be considered old fashioned. but nevertheless is very effective. Binders and Acid-Free varying size pocket refill pages made from either top quality polypropylene or polyester will guarantee archival protection for generations to come.
With quick and easy access, a multi-functional binder system with varying sized archival slip-in pocket refills will allow you to build up your own unique collection. It will enable you to store, protect and display your family photos, discs, BDM certificates, old letters and postcardsand other collectables, as you wish, all in one universal organiser. There is no limit to how many times you can insert, remove and reorganise each individual binder.
For other collectable items including medals, pins, mementos and coins collector display cabinets and cases are best suited.
Secure your ancestral roots now. For more information please visit www.arrowfile.com