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A Genealogist In The Archives: Preserving Family Christmas Ornaments

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Preserving Family Christmas Ornaments

It's getting closer to Christmas! Many of us are putting up our Christmas trees like we do every year. Placing the Christmas lights just so on the tree limbs and making sure we have just the right amount of tinsel.

Unwrapping Christmas ornaments and placing them strategically on the tree so that we don't leave any holes. Many of these ornaments bring back so many memories. Handmade ornaments made by my daughter when she was growing up. Christmas ornaments that I inherited from my Grandmother after her passing, they remind me that she always had one of those silver metal trees. And ornaments that my husband and I purchased at monumental times in our married life like the one that says "Our First Christmas".

As a county archivist, I work every day to archive and preserve my county's historical records. Using the right archival materials like file folders, boxes, tissue paper, etc. to make sure these records, ephemera and artifacts are preserved for future researchers.

Preserving our families precious and one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments is something that I find most genealogists don't think about, not like they do their genealogical documents. The fact is, these handmade ornaments have meaning and tell a story just like our family documents do. Preserving these ornaments properly is something that any genealogist can do quite easily.

Archival Items You Will Need:

-Archival Tissue Paper, to wrap handmade and unique ornaments with for protection

-Archival Divided Compartment Box, to store the wrapped ornaments

Wrap up each ornament very carefully in the tissue paper and then lay them in the compartments in the archival box. If needed, crumple up additional tissue paper and put around the wrapped ornament so that it won't move around in the box.

Store these ornaments in a cool, dry and dark place. Do not store in an an attic, basement or in direct sunlight. It might be a good idea to put these family ornaments where genealogical records are stored since they are considered family artifacts.

So, as you are putting your Christmas tree up this year and you are seeing the handmade and unique family ornaments, think about preserving them like I have discussed instead of putting them back in the garage or attic where they could be deteriorating.



Scrapbooks! Want to know how to find them in archives? Or learn how to preserve the ones you own?

Get My Legacy Family Tree Webinar

Scrapbooks: A Genealogist's Gold Mine 


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