Providing practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians since 1995, online since 1985.
Saving old letters & identifying old photos
On another note, I also have an album full of photos - probably from mid-late 1800s, with no clue as to who 98% of them are. They are marked with the photographer's name and city and sometimes dates. Is there any way to find out who these people are, i.e., a web site for posting them? Surely, there are others who are in the same situation.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Ol' Myrt isn't telling you anything you don't already know. In your heart of hearts, you know you have been entrusted with this ancestral treasure, and must do what you can to preserve this wonderful collection for posterity. Carefully unfold these letters, and place them in sheet protectors, since continued fold/unfolding will speed up the aging process. What if an ancestor's wife's maiden name is written right across one of those fold lines? Perhaps it is the final sentence in a paragraph simply describing day-to-day life experiences.
We don't want the paper fibers to break down and crack along the creases, effectively obliterating the handwriting.
STEP ONE: TOP LOADING SHEET PROTECTORS A box of Office Depot® Top-Loading Sheet Protectors, Standard Weight, Clear, Box Of 100 is $7.89. These will fit a three-ring binder, and are acid-free and archival safe. Eventually you'll want to place these sheet-protected letters in archival boxes, because 3-ring binder storage leaves them prone to spilling out of the top of the sheet protectors. There is also the problem of exposure to light and dust. Find these online at: http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?level=SK&id=498811&N=4294966793&An=browse
STEP TWO: ARCHIVAL BOX WITH 1" RINGS Ol'
Myrt recommends the boxes described in the Light Impressions catalog.
"Polypropylene Boxes are moisture and dust-resistant, made of archival
polypropylene, and designed to be stackable. The Polypropylene Box features snap
locks to keep your work safe, plus flexible hinges that withstand years of use.
Available in black, white and gray. Holds our PhotoGuard™, TopLoaders™,
SlideGuard™, Print File®, and HD PolyChron™ pages. Interior Dimensions: 10 3/16"
X 1 3/4" X 11 5/8"." These run $14.95 each, and you will eventually need 5 or 6.
WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE PHOTOS YOU CANNOT IDENTIFY There IS a website for posting old photos that you cannot identify. See the folks at: http://www.DeadFred.com They have successfully orchestrated 693 photo "reunions." You'll find guidelines for submissions on the right navigation bar under "Submit Photos."
Happy family tree climbing!