Low-Cost Ways to Preserve Family Archives

Most of us are creators and collectors of something we value or enjoy, such as family papers, photographs, cookbooks or postcards. They are a big part of who we are and what we do. We think about passing these collections on to our families, even our communities.

What can we do to protect our collectables from damage even if we don’t think we have a perfect place to keep them? Learn about possible risks from handling and the environment, and practical, inexpensive ideas to keep collections safe to help ensure what you have can be shared for many years to come.

ALCTS thanks Archival Products for sponsoring this webinar to celebrate Preservation Week.

Access recording here:

Recording (YouTube)

Recording (.wmv)

Slides (.pdf)

Special postwebinar Q&A (.pdf)


Originally presented on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

Learning Outcomes

  • understand the importance of good storage and careful handling in preventing damage
  • learn about low cost and no cost options for minimizing risks to collections

Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in practical ways of preserving archival collections, including family collectors, and curators and custodians of small to medium libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and town offices.


Karen E. K. Brown is the Preservation Librarian for the University at Albany, SUNY, University Libraries, a position she has held since 2001. In this capacity she is responsible for managing the preservation laboratory and the repair and conservation of collections for the University Libraries; managing the Libraries' brittle and irreparable books program; participating in emergency preparedness and response; environmental control; staff training and other preventive activities. Karen holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cooper Union in New York City and a Master of Art Conservation from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. After working for five years as a conservator for the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, in Fredericton, New Brunswick she went on to complete her MLIS at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prior to coming to Albany Karen was the Field Service Representative at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts (1997 to 2001). She is a member of The American Institute for Conservation (AIC), and the American Library Association (ALA).




How to Register

Access recording here:

Recording (YouTube)

Recording (.wmv)

Slides (.pdf)

Questions and Answers (.pdf) 

Tech Requirements

Computer with Internet access (high-speed connection is best) and media player software. Headphones recommended.

If you receive a Codec error when playing the recorded file with Windows Media Player, download the gotowebinar codec file from: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/codec?Portal=www.gotomeeting.com The Codec acts as a patch that allows the recording, which is created with a higher version of Media Player, to play in version 7. For more information on playing the recording, see the FAQ.




For questions or comments related to this free webinar, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034 or jreese@ala.org.

Thanks to Our Sponsor

Archival Products: Innovative Solutions for Preservation


ALCTS thanks Archival Products for sponsoring this webinar to celebrate Preservation Week.