Skip to main content

Preserving Family Memories - caring for your heritage

Memories are an important part of all our lives. Old letters, photographs, scrapbooks, slides and negatives, glass plates, cine film, audio-visual tapes and many other things help us to recall our past and the history of our family and communities. All of these things, however, are subject to decay and eventual destruction if they are not cared for properly. 

Oxford Duplication Centre in Kidlington can support all our clients with digitisation of all consumers, corporate and heritage scanning and digitisation. 

Please do email cheryl@oxfordduplicationcentre.com or contact us 01865 457000 to discuss your project.


Letters, Diaries, Books and Documents. 

Many families preserve letters, diaries, or other written documents in which family members discuss their life and times. World War II remembrances have led many families to look for a relative's carefully stored letters. Other families have saved newspaper clippings of important family events, such as the announcements of births, marriages, or obituaries.  Often when the letters are brought down from the attic or the clippings retrieved from the back of the closet, family members are upset to see the items are disintegrating.

Photographs and Photographic Film. 


Photographs, slides, and negatives have long been used to capture family memories. Every photographic process, however, is subject to decay and self-destruction. 

Given the number of chemicals involved, it should not be surprising that this media is not completely stable. Photos, slides, and negatives fade over time. 

Scrapbooks and Memory Books. 

Many people assemble ‘memory books’ to help them record the history of themselves or their family. Pictures, newspaper clippings, certificates, letters, tickets, souvenir programs, and a host of other memorabilia find their way into these books. Most commercial albums or scrapbooks are made of inexpensive paper and thus have extremely high levels of acid, which will shorten the life of those items. The mix of material placed in a scrapbook can also cause problems. Photographs, highly acidic newspaper clippings, and other items often create peculiar chemical mixes that can cause unpredictable results.

Video and Audio Tapes. 

Over the last decade video and audio tape has become a favourite way of preserving memories.  Tapes, however, are even more fragile than photos and documents, so take great care in preserving these memories. Just as with paper and photographs, heat can speed the chemical reactions that cause the tape to fail, and humidity can encourage the growth of various biological agents that can destroy the tape. Assume VCR tape will need to be digitised. The medium of tape is very fragile and subject to a variety of fatal harms. Plan on converting your tapes sooner rather than later.

Oxford Duplication Preservation Checklist

 Always store your media in a cool, dry place.

 Do not store in uninsulated attics or damp basements.

 Always keep media away from bright light.

 Store media opened, rather than folded, and flat.

 Separate deteriorating media from other items by using acid free paper or envelope.


Oxford Duplication Centre, 29 Rear Part, Banbury Road, Kidlington OX5 1AQ Supporters of local business.

www.oxfordduplicationcentre.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ampex 1/4" Studio Master Reel to Reel Transfers to .WAV Archive Files

Audio Tape Digital Transfer Services. We are currently working on  a large order of Ampex 1/4" audio reels for a British national museum organisation, supporting their archives with tape baking and professional digitisation of their records. cheryl@oxfordduplicationcentre.com   01865 457000 standard cassettes  |  micro cassettes   |  8-tracks   |  vinyl records   |  1/4" reel to reel   |  cd ripping   |  1/4" pro reel to reel   |  dat audio tape  Our extensive and professional Audio Video department offers audio tape transfers in Oxfordshire, London, UK and Europe.  Based in Kidlington, just outside Oxford we can support our clients with orders from 1 tape to 1000’s. We convert all formats of audio tape into digital formats at the highest quality possible, offering .wav or .aiff files format at 44.1, 48, 96, or 192kHz at 16 or 24 bit. These .wav or .aiff files can then be played on any modern PC or Mac, and then be converted to mp3 or flac, or used for a remastering proj

Onion Skin Archive Book Scanning - What is this and how do we process the pages?

CURRENT BOOK SCANNNING PROJECT.  We are currently working on a very large archive of old books that require HQ scanning to Archival TIFF images.  Once processed, these images will be prepared to PDF with OCR (optical character recognition) for a complete searchable output.   The difficulty in this order, is the books are prepared using a medium called Onion Skin Paper. Whilst we are very confident in preparing this type of medium, it is very important to be aware that there are risks with scanning, given the sometimes-fragile nature of the paper.   Tears and rips can occur, so a very gentle white glove approach is required. Equally, with the nature of onion skin, the paper is very translucent which requires a sheet of white paper to be placed under each page before scanning. This then grants a very good HQ image that we can work with.   WHAT IS ONION SKIN PAPER? Onion skin paper is a type of very light weight, almost translucent paper that somewhat resembles the outer skins

Still Photographic Film - Nitrate Film Digitisation

INTRODUCTION New technologies are adopted based on their advantages, and disadvantages are considered later or sometimes not at all. Preservation often involves working to mitigate those disadvantages and, in the case of photography, this means working to increase the stability of inherently unstable materials.  There are three broad types of film-based photographic materials: cellulose nitrate, cellulose acetates, and polyester. These materials have been used as a support for negatives, positive transparencies, motion pictures, microfilm, and other photographic products. Unfortunately, cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetates are unstable. The products of their degradation can severely harm and even destroy photographic collections, in addition to posing serious safety hazards.   IDENTIFICATION Nitrate Film Base In August 1889, Eastman Kodak began selling the first photographic negatives on cellulose nitrate flexible film support. This innovation was the foundation of an entirely new