Yesterday, I sat down and actually got the photos sleeved and preserved (see below for deets). The oldest photo dates from about 1850 and is most likely my 3rd great grandmother Sarah A Matthews (1827-1903). I say most likely because the piece of paper that was with the photo and it's accompanying photo said 'Matthews girls, grandmother and mother, first cousin of Sarah Marie Jordan Hursey' - and there isn't any way that any of the "Matthews girls" could be Sarah Marie Jordan's first cousins... but it IS possible for them to be her aunt. So anyways. Some sleuthing involved in identifying some of the people and dates, which is fun work.
There were birth, death and marriage certificates, some of which I couldn't get previously, because I am not immediate family and they are less than 50 years old (or whatever the rule is in the respective states they are from), so those are gold.
There were some photos of Benjamin Worth Hursey, my great grandfather, and his siblings. They are the great great grandchildren of John Turner... and then there are photos of the whole clan as they got older, had kids, had grandkids, had 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries. There are several pictures of Carrie Lee Hilda Wilcox Hursey (1896-1987), Ben's sister, aka Carrie Hursey Reeves, which is who I was named after.
|Photos are, top to bottom : Sarah Marion Hursey (Marion Kelly), Sarah Marie Jordan Hursey (Marie Hursey), Benjamin Worth Hursey (Ben Hursey), Lula Mae Wilson Hursey|
At any rate, I did also get all of the photos properly preserved. The rules for preserving photos are thus :
- Everything touching them must be acid free or archival quality. I used Ultra Pro 4x6 Soft Sleeves (intended for sports cards, I think), 1 pack of C-Line 5x7 pages for a 3 ring binder and, 1 pack of C-Line 4x6 pages for a 3 ring binder and a Pioneer photo storage box for the photos that I did not put in the timeline binders. I used several rolls of Scotch single-sided Scrapbooking tape to seal the sleeves once the photos were in them.
- You must be able to see everything that is relevant about the photo without pulling it out of it's storage and touching it or exposing it to air. That means that if there are pertinent notes or handwriting on the back, you can't cover the back.
- In several cases, this meant that I put a photo in a sleeve and then attached it, in the sleeve, to acid free paper. That means that in the future, I can always pull the whole rig out of it's sleeve and flip the photo over without needing to unsleeve the actual photo.
- You should not do anything to a photo that would destroy any part of it. That includes using double sided tape on any part of a photo.
- Where a photo required explanation, the photo went into a single sleeve, which I then attached to an archival piece of paper for notes, which went into a binder sleeve. The end result is a photo with text around it.
- You should adjust notes or add notes with an archival acid free pen (I love these colored double sided pens/markers by Zig), if you know who or what or when of the photo and it's not on the photo. For instance, I had two sets of photos of my great grandparents - one from their 50th anniversary and one set from their 60th. It was clear some of them had been mis-labled so those needed to be adjusted. I judge whether to write on it by considering "Would someone know who this was if they were not me, with my knowledge of the family?".
- Try not to put multiple photos in one sleeve. Old photos are in so many sizes. I could that the 4x6 and 5x7 sleeves fit most of them but I sometimes needed to reduce the size by folding it over. You can always take multiple sleeved photos and add them to a bigger page or sleeve together.
- If you have photos on postcards or other potentially acidic paper, add a sheet of buffered tissue paper to help preserve them.