In this blog post, we will look at the top 5 ways to store family history documents.
1. Organise effectively with decluttering the pile properly
Get rid of things that aren’t important and keep the cherished items!
Do this by dividing your family history documents into 3 piles- vital, interesting and non-archival.
Vital documentation includes the obvious, such as birth certificates, marriage and death certificates. Basically, anything that has key information that informs us about our ancestors.
Interesting documentation is anything that has been passed on that shows us an interesting perspective of our ancestors’ life. This can include diaries, letters, photographs etc.
Non-archival documentation is where you’ve inherited boxes and boxes of your loved ones’ possessions, but a lot of it is tat. Things such as old receipts, takeaway menus, and newspapers with no significance.
While it could be considered interesting to keep some of these items, take the time to be cutthroat and ask yourself, “does this add a purpose to my genealogical records”? If the answer is no, toss it away. This is the best way to work down piles and piles of inherited items that make it manageable and easy to continue passing on down through the family.
2. Create a family newsletter
Family newsletters are a great way of documenting current family life and presenting it in a fun and interesting way. Newsletters are just a page or two long and typically are given out once a year to family and friends to update everyone on family news. It’s a great way to add to family history and newsletters can be stored easily in a file to be accessed and added to.
3. Create a memorabilia scrapbook
Present your collected family history documents in a scrapbook. It’s a great way to visualise your ancestors, add to it with your own updates and to showcase off to the younger generation to get them interested in family history.
Keeping everything documented and together in one place makes it easier for our future families to inherit our family history and even add to it with their achievements and life story.
4. Upload and store digitally
Digitally storing your family history is by far one of the easiest ways to preserve your family history while adding to it without taking up any storage space! The best part, most digital apps for family history allow family sharing and can be updated at any time.
5. Storing physical memorabilia and heirlooms
For artefacts: neatly store your precious heirlooms by using clear storage boxes. If you have lots of items, boxes can be neatly stacked. Don’t forget to label items with a description, who it’s from and the date of origin.
Photos: store in hardback photo albums or neatly in boxes in order of date, size or even person. Store photos in a cold dark room to avoid damage to the surface of the picture.
Paper documentation: Store these flat, in clear pockets. Don’t bend papers or use storage cases too small for the documentation. A ring binder with poly pockets work, or you can use a plastic storage box with an airtight lock.
Preserve your family history in an organised but fun way. Don’t forget that someone one day will inherit all this collated family history. Make the storage and adding to the family history as easy and enjoyable as possible by sorting through all your documentation today!
We hope you enjoyed this post. For more information see our past post on how to properly store family history documents.