Preserving Your Treasures

Quick Preservation Tips

Here are a variety of simple, practical actions to preserve your personal and family collections:

  • Handle with a clean, gentle touch

Protect your treasures from dust, dirt, oil, food, and other hazards by handling items carefully, with clean hands.

  • Store safely in stable conditions

Protect your treasures from light, harsh temperatures, and humidity.   Learn what storage options are right for your collections.

  • Foresee and avoid risks

Assess storage and display surroundings for potential problems like water, pests, mold, and breakage.  Relocate your treasures or take other measures (for example, put items in protective containers) to reduce risks.

  • Make a copy

Copy treasures like photographs, newspapers, and letters when possible and appropriate. Store the original safely and use the copy.  Digital copies allow treasures to be easily shared, but remember digital items need preservation, too.

  • Ask a professional

Seek professional advice before trying at-home repairs or cleaning treasures yourself.

  • Visit a library, museum, or archives

Consult a librarian, collections manager, or archivist for great resources and additional tips on how to preserve your treasures.

  • Pass it on!

Share your treasures with your family and community. Your heritage is their heritage.


Use the links in the menu at left for more information about preserving photos, paper, videos or textiles.