Keeping your archives safe for future generations

During a recent visit to a relative we were busy comparing photographs when she said “I know I shouldn’t keep them in this plastic wallet”.  Well that remark got me thinking.

I have spent over 25 years looking after the family archive including some very precious items. Thinking about all my documents and photos I realised that although they were residing in some pretty boxes – acid free they were not.  When I got home I resolved to change their ‘living’ conditions.

After researching on the internet I found a company called G. Ryder. The products I ordered were as follows.

Premium Archival Acid Free Wire Stitch Storage Box A4 – £5.82 inc VAT
These boxes are grey so if they are having to be kept on shelving the colour fits with most decor.  The slightly cheaper buff coloured boxes are very strong but not completely acid free. I really like the full depth lid – much more difficult for the contents to spill or be readily available to inquisitive fingers if you have grandchildren.

These boxes are almost a perfect fit for the IKEA Kallax range


Acid Free Storage Box Wire Stitchin their clearance line £3 including VAT
These boxes are quite square and I have found them useful for diaries, tickets, A5 programmes, There are only 9 left in stock so if you fancy one of these best to order asap.

Acid Free Wallets – in their clearance line – £0.90p including VAT (with postage work out approx £1.40 each)
These are dark grey folders which I have found very useful for holding quite a few documents. I also ordered some of the envelope style wallets but found that they only held one or two sheets safely.

Still have quite a bit of work to do sorting through notes and documents but I am definitely on a mission now.

Another big plus of the visit to Lynne was the discovery of a Christmas card sent to her Grandma from my Grandpa and Grandma.  As soon as I saw it I realised it had a hand painted cover done by my Grandpa.  She very kindly gave the card too me. Something else to treasure – how wonderful.




Do you have a pile of photographs carefully handed down from a member of your family? Do you know who they all are? Probably not. Sadly the beautiful sepia photos lovingly kept in that box / suitcase often are just that – photographs – with no clues as to who they might be.  But are we that much better today – how do you keep all your digital files? Are they captioned? Are they in computer folders? Is your computer backed up? Will they be lost inside your computer forever?

Maybe a task for the coming days, weeks, months is to create beautiful photo books, and / or start a cloud account with other family members having access? That way your descendants won’t be pondering over photos of unknown people in the future.

The oldest photo in my possession is of my Grandfather (b1888) and Great Grandfather (b1835) – both called Moses.  Luckily I know who they are – the photo was taken around 1900 and is on tin.

Moses and Moses c 1900

This photo is well who ??? – he looks a lovely young man whoever he is.

A Fearn?? photo taken by De Freyne, 1a Lorton Street, Liverpool

Maybe one day I will find out who he is – a letter to the local newspaper might help, I do hope so.