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A Genealogist In The Archives: There's An Archival Box for That!

Friday, October 2, 2020

There's An Archival Box for That!

"31 Days of Tips from The Archive Lady"

DAY #2

Let's face it, many of the items we as genealogists have in our family history collections are unique and even odd shaped. These are usually called family artifacts or family heirlooms. These items help to tell our ancestor's story and also help to remind us of our family members that are no longer with us.

Trying to archive or preserve these items can be a challenge but with the right box it can be done!

These items are those 3-dimensional items that we might display on a shelf or bring out at family gatherings to show to our family members.

They are a point of contact with our ancestors and they have true family history meaning to us and are items we cherish.

Just like our paper documents, our family artifacts should be preserved and stored correctly so that they survive for future generations to enjoy.

Do you have your Grandfather's bowler hat? There's an archival box for that! Check out this hat box:

Archival Hat Box from Gaylord Archival

Do you have an American flag that was draped over your ancestor's casket during a military funeral service? There is a wonderful archival box just for American flags:

Clamshell Flag Box from Gaylord Archival

Do you have your Grandmother's favorite doll? Or maybe your favorite doll from when you were young? There is a perfect archival box for dolls:

Doll Preservation Box from Gaylord Archival

Do you have Christmas ornaments that are special and you consider family heirlooms? There is a great archival box available to keep them safe when they are stored:

Christmas Decorations Box from Gaylord Archival

And there is even an archival box to store Christmas wreaths:

One of the best ways to find these wonderful and unique archival boxes is to search the archival store catalogs. I always encourage genealogists to order a FREE paper catalog and have it delivered to your home so that you can sit down and easily look at all the wonderful archival boxes that are available.

Here is a listing of several archival stores that will send out FREE paper catalogs:

Gaylord Archival:

Hollinger Metal Edge:

University Products:

Light Impressions:

Our family artifacts and heirlooms are very important and mean so much to us. Make sure they are being preserved in the right archival box!



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  1. I was wondering what you would suggest for keeping a full kilt safe. I have the kilt, the jacket and odds n ends.
    Thank you,

    1. Rosemary, I would obtain a flat box with a separate lid. See this wedding dress box from Amazon, I would think this would work nicely for your kilt, jacket and odds and ends. Hope this helps. Thank You for reading my blog!

  2. I believe in storing things the best way we can and have purchased many archival albums for photographs I’ve inherited from my parents, grandparents & great grandparents.
    However, and I say this respectfully, I don’t have a gazillion dollars to purchase archival boxes for everything else I have (okay, I’m exaggerating) so can you tell me what the next best solution would be?

    1. Kaye, I completely understand! I don't have a gazillion dollars either. My advice is always the "ultimate" of what we should do but the main point to records preservation is the storage conditions, temperature and humidity levels. No matter what you store your records in, if you keep the temperature and humidity levels where they should be, your records should survive beautifully. As for inexpensive alternatives to archival boxes, you could use regular bankers boxes. I discourage the use of plastic containers because the chemicals in plastic can off gas and cause damage over time. Thank You for your question, I know it will help many! Thank You for reading my blog!