Family Photographs

It’s my last day at home in New York and we’re consumed by chores such as packing, cleaning, and finding the new cat to bring him to the vet.  But another important task is moving the old family photographs from the garage into the house. Photographs have come up on Preservation in Pink from time to time.  This latest batch is from my grandparents’ apartment who have boxes and boxes of ca. 1940 photographs.  They are labeled thanks to my grandmother.

When my mom and aunt cleaned out my grandparents’ apartment after their father died in June 2007, they had to have the important items shipped up here to New York.  This now means that cardboard boxes in our garage are full of photographs and other family mementos and heirlooms. Lacking a climate controlled archive and just space, storing these photographs is a problem.  Our first step is to get them out of the garage and out of the cardboard boxes. For now, until we can come up with a better solution, we are transferring them to the ever popular plastic storage bins.

Plastic storage bins? That’s all I can think of for now. Do you have better suggestions? The next time I am home it will be my mission to get some acid free boxes.  At least they will not be in the garage or the attic or the direct sunlight. These are irreplaceable photographs. I should make digitizing them a project as well. But first – out of the cardboard. Second, acid free boxes. Third, labels on the boxes (with acid free ink).  Fourth, digitizing. Fifth, a summary of the photographs or something like that.  Seems like I suddenly have another job the next time I come home!  It is a project that will be a gift to future generations of my family, so I’m proud to sort through these photographs and properly store them.

What do you do with your family photographs? Do you have any suggestions for me as I embark on my personal preservation project?