This week marks the third annual celebration of Preservation Week, a week when libraries across the country “present events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, both individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. ”
Founded by a coalition including the American Library Association, the Library of Congress, and the Society of American Archivists among other professional organizations, this week offers a wealth of opportunities for ordinary Americans to learn about ways to preserve everything from old quilts to comic books, from old family photographs and letters to old home movies–just the kinds of things you may be finding in your basements, attics, and garages–and not knowing how to properly care for them.
If you’ve already missed some of the events, you may still be able to find valuable information online (or from your local librarians) that will be helpful to you as you go through things in your home and find ways to ensure they are not destroyed by the most common destroyers of precious items: heat, light, moisture, dust, dirt, insects and other pests–but also dirty hands and rough handling. (So BE CAREFUL as you approach those precious family treasures you’re finding in closets, trunks, and under beds! You wouldn’t want what had been preserved for 100 years to be damaged by you, now, through careless handling.)