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A Genealogist In The Archives

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

"31 Days of Tips from The Archive Lady"

DAY #5

Preserving the Family Bible

One of the most precious items genealogists have in their records collection is the Family Bible. This family heirloom is one that is most cherished and can contain the family history. The one-of-a-kind pages with handwritten names and dates help genealogists with their genealogy research but also reminds us of the ancestors that wrote those pages. Preserving the Family Bible is essential to preserving family history.

Family Bible donated to the Houston County, TN. Archives

Preserving a Family Bible Can Be Done in 5 Easy Steps:  

1. Transcribe the information contained on the pages in the Family Bible. This step needs to be done so that once the Bible has been stored away and preserved, it doesn't get handled and risk damage.

2. Digitize all pages that contain any genealogical information.  This can be done by using a flat bed scanner, a hand held scanner or taking digital photographs. If the Bible is fragile, be very careful what technique is used.

Bible Page with Genealogical Information

3. Place archival tissue paper between the pages that have writing on them. This will insure that none of the writing bleeds onto the other pages.

4. Put the Family Bible in an archival box that is lined with archival tissue paper. Be sure the box is not too small and not too big. To make sure the Bible doesn't move around in the box, crumple up archival tissue paper and put it around the Bible. The Bible will fit snuggly and won't move.  

5. Store in a cool, dry and dark place. Handle the Bible as little as possible.

German Bible Donated to the Houston County, TN. Archives

Here is a listing of the archival materials needed to preserve a Family Bible:

Archival Tissue Paper:
Archival Storage Box:




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  1. Do you recommend buffered or unbuffered tissue for interleaving in the family bible?

    1. Hello,I recommend unbuffered archival tissue paper.