Caring for Your Documents

  • 7th December 2018

Mary, Sue and Freda cleaning their own documents to keep them safe for the future on the ‘Caring for your Documents’ workshop

In October I held a ‘Caring for your Documents’ workshop where people brought along their precious letters, certificates and documents from their own family archive.  We talked about the need to protect and preserve these items, and the best ways to go about cleaning and displaying them, as well as the need to store them safely away from the leaky boiler and safe from any nibbling insects or rodents.


Paper-based items such as a family archive are at risk from factors such light, physical damage, fire and water, and these are the same risk factors that we have to manage when storing material at the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service, albeit on a larger scale. After learning the theory, attendees were then given the chance to work on their own material and we discussed the best possible way to keep the items safe for many years to come.


From a collection of letters sent home from the Western Front from a Grandfather killed in action to a Father’s Irish birth certificate, each item had a fascinating and emotional connection to the owner and it was very moving to hear these stories.    To help them on their way, those attending the workshop chose to purchase a ‘Starter Box’ for £35 that I had put together, including folders, cleaning sponges, polyester sleeves and other essential items that we use everyday to protect our own archives. Now, thanks to some professional advise and some gentle cleaning these documents should be safely stored to see them onto the next generation within their families.

Everyone has an archive, be it a few letters or cards to that collection of diaries and newspaper cuttings stored somewhere in a shoe box. I’ll be running another  ‘Caring for Your Documents’  workshop in the Spring and the ‘Starter Box’ is still available if you’d like to get a professional head start on protecting your own precious memories.

Rhonda Niven

If you would like to get in touch about the Starter Box or if you have some documents which you would like conserving you can contact us via our website

One response to “Caring for Your Documents”

  1. Rita Roberts says:

    What a great idea Paul.

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