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RE: OLD LETTERS

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  • Bill Tarkulich
    While scanning is superior, taking a digital photograph is a reasonable and very safe alternative. An argument you hear a lot is that the intensity of the
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 5, 2008
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      While scanning is superior, taking a digital photograph is a reasonable and
      very safe alternative. An argument you hear a lot is that the intensity of
      the light from the scanner may accelerate the decomposition of the paper.



      If you lay out the document on a well-lit table and mount the digital camera
      on a tripod, position the camera parallel to the document, setting the
      camera to the highest quality, you will probably not need to use flash.
      This would minimize the handling of the document.



      I found a family document that was entirely crumbled and broken apart; this
      was the only way to digitize it; the results were acceptable to me.



      I think I would ask Kinkos (or a photographer) to try the above method. I
      would not advise shipping the letters regardless of the packaging and
      tracking; since she put them in the safe, she values them highly; I wouldn't
      want to live with having one lost or damaged in transit.





      Bill







      -----Original Message-----
      From: SLOVAK-ROOTS-owner@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS-owner@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Geiss
      Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 12:23 PM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS Moderator
      Subject: OLD LETTERS



      My niece, in the Chicago area, has some very old letters from the nineteenth
      century, sent to my grandma when she had emigrated. She keeps them in a
      fireproof safe. I had been bugging her for months to get me copies.
      Finally last week she bundled them together, and took them to Kinkos, to be
      copied. Kinko's refused to try, saying that it could permanently damage
      them; didn't recommend scanning them with the computer either. ( One of
      them is already in pieces, and is crumbling ).

      I have asked her to send them to me, just one or two at a time, to
      see how they hold up during shippiong; then I can laboriously HAND COPY
      them, then make copies of my scribbling.

      These letters probably hold valuable clues to my ancestors lives.

      Has anyone had experience with something like this, and have any
      suggestions. Tom



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ben Sorensen
      Hello all, I am going to copy and paste some excellent advice from the Etowah Valley Historical Society on storing old books and documents. I collect old
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 5, 2008
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        Hello all,
        I am going to copy and paste some excellent advice from the Etowah Valley Historical Society on storing old books and documents.
        I collect old books- a slow-going passion as it gets expensive- and very often I find a book that was neglected and not properly set in a bookcase, thus destroying the spine and almost ruining the book. Here goes!

        Protection From Light

        All light sources will eventually damage materials, but UV light is the most damaging.
        Never display or store objects next to windows or in direct sunlight.
        Use incandescent, rather than flourescent lighting.
        Regularly rotate displays to avoid constant exposure to light. Protection From Dust, Heat, Moisture, and Insects

        Never store items in your attic or basement where excessive heat or moisture and extreme fluctuations in temperature can result in irreversible damage.
        Never store materials near direct heat sources such as radiators and water heaters.
        Always allow for adequate air circulation.
        Try to maintain a constant environment, with a temperature of about 70° and a relative humidity of around 50%.
        Store items in a dark closet when not on display.
        Never use insecticides. Control insects by keeping a clean environment and following proper storage techniques. Dust and dirt encourage growth of mold and insect infestation. Protection From Handling

        Avoid excessive handling of older books and documents by making a copy of the original, then using that copy to make further copies.
        Avoid folding and refolding old documents.
        Avoid removing books from shelves by grabbing the upper edge of the book (endcap), which can lead to damage and tearing of the binding. Store books on shelves with enough room for the book to be grasped by both sides.
        Use book ends on shelves to keep books from leaning or floping over, which can permanently damage them.
        Make sure your hands are clean, or use clean white cotton gloves when handling books or documents. Protection During Storage

        Always store or display books vertically (larger books on their spine).
        Use cotton ribbon to tie up books with very loose binders.
        Always allow adequate support for the material; fit the item to the container, then fit the container to the storage box.
        Don't store or display books or papers in closed wooden cabinets unless shelves have been sealed to protect materials from acids exuded by untreated wood. Treat shelves with a primer and two coats of high quality solvent-based acrylic paint or solvent-based varnish.
        Never keep newspaper clippings inside books, or store with other documents. Newsprint is highly acidic and will cause pages to turn brown and brittle.
        Remove all paper clips, staples, and rubber bands, book marks, pressed flowers, paper scraps, and other acidic materials from books before storing.
        Always use acid-free boxes, envelopes, and folders for long-term storage of books and documents rather than plastic bags and cardboard boxes.
        Avoiding Irreversible Treatments
        Never laminate materials.
        Never use conventional glue or tape, which are not acid free. Always use products identified as acid-free or acid-neutral.
        Never use rubber bands, staples, or paper clips, which can deteriorate or rust.
        Never store materials inside plastic covers that stick to any surface of the materials.
        Avoid introducing contaminated items into your collection by making sure there are no bugs, mold, or other potential hazards infecting your new acquisitions. To remove mold and mildew, freeze the book or document overnight, then brush away the ice and dust.
        Store breakables on bottom shelves to avoid accidentally dropping them.
        Never store anything on the floor, in case of flooding.
        Products for Preservation Catalogs are available from several companies which describe supplies for conservation treatment of books and documents. Some acid-free products may also be purchased from large office supply stores and art stores.
        Gaylord Brothers, Box 4901, Syracuse, NY 13221-4901. 1-800-634-6307
        University Products, P. O. Box 101, Holyoke, MA 01041. 1-800-762-1165
        Conservation Resources, 8000-H Forbes Place, Springfield, VA 22151. 1-800-634-6932
        Thank you all!
        Ben

        Bill Tarkulich <bill.tarkulich@...> wrote:
        While scanning is superior, taking a digital photograph is a reasonable and
        very safe alternative. An argument you hear a lot is that the intensity of
        the light from the scanner may accelerate the decomposition of the paper.

        If you lay out the document on a well-lit table and mount the digital camera
        on a tripod, position the camera parallel to the document, setting the
        camera to the highest quality, you will probably not need to use flash.
        This would minimize the handling of the document.

        I found a family document that was entirely crumbled and broken apart; this
        was the only way to digitize it; the results were acceptable to me.

        I think I would ask Kinkos (or a photographer) to try the above method. I
        would not advise shipping the letters regardless of the packaging and
        tracking; since she put them in the safe, she values them highly; I wouldn't
        want to live with having one lost or damaged in transit.

        Bill

        -----Original Message-----
        From: SLOVAK-ROOTS-owner@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS-owner@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Geiss
        Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 12:23 PM
        To: SLOVAK-ROOTS Moderator
        Subject: OLD LETTERS

        My niece, in the Chicago area, has some very old letters from the nineteenth
        century, sent to my grandma when she had emigrated. She keeps them in a
        fireproof safe. I had been bugging her for months to get me copies.
        Finally last week she bundled them together, and took them to Kinkos, to be
        copied. Kinko's refused to try, saying that it could permanently damage
        them; didn't recommend scanning them with the computer either. ( One of
        them is already in pieces, and is crumbling ).

        I have asked her to send them to me, just one or two at a time, to
        see how they hold up during shippiong; then I can laboriously HAND COPY
        them, then make copies of my scribbling.

        These letters probably hold valuable clues to my ancestors lives.

        Has anyone had experience with something like this, and have any
        suggestions. Tom

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Tom Geiss
        Thank you Ben. Thank you bill. I will forward all this helpful information to my niece, and hope that she puts it to good use. I ll know, when I
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 5, 2008
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          Thank you Ben. Thank you bill. I will forward all this helpful information to my niece, and hope that she puts it to good use. I'll know, when I get some successful copies of these very precious documents, and can share them with many others.
          How much we would know about our ancient past, if libraries in Alexandria, and Carthage, and many other places, had not been destroyed.
          Tom
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Ben Sorensen
          To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2008 7:15 AM
          Subject: Re: [S-R] RE: OLD LETTERS


          Hello all,
          I am going to copy and paste some excellent advice from the Etowah Valley Historical Society on storing old books and documents.
          I collect old books- a slow-going passion as it gets expensive- and very often I find a book that was neglected and not properly set in a bookcase, thus destroying the spine and almost ruining the book. Here goes!

          Protection From Light

          All light sources will eventually damage materials, but UV light is the most damaging.
          Never display or store objects next to windows or in direct sunlight.
          Use incandescent, rather than flourescent lighting.
          Regularly rotate displays to avoid constant exposure to light. Protection From Dust, Heat, Moisture, and Insects

          Never store items in your attic or basement where excessive heat or moisture and extreme fluctuations in temperature can result in irreversible damage.
          Never store materials near direct heat sources such as radiators and water heaters.
          Always allow for adequate air circulation.
          Try to maintain a constant environment, with a temperature of about 70° and a relative humidity of around 50%.
          Store items in a dark closet when not on display.
          Never use insecticides. Control insects by keeping a clean environment and following proper storage techniques. Dust and dirt encourage growth of mold and insect infestation. Protection From Handling

          Avoid excessive handling of older books and documents by making a copy of the original, then using that copy to make further copies.
          Avoid folding and refolding old documents.
          Avoid removing books from shelves by grabbing the upper edge of the book (endcap), which can lead to damage and tearing of the binding. Store books on shelves with enough room for the book to be grasped by both sides.
          Use book ends on shelves to keep books from leaning or floping over, which can permanently damage them.
          Make sure your hands are clean, or use clean white cotton gloves when handling books or documents. Protection During Storage

          Always store or display books vertically (larger books on their spine).
          Use cotton ribbon to tie up books with very loose binders.
          Always allow adequate support for the material; fit the item to the container, then fit the container to the storage box.
          Don't store or display books or papers in closed wooden cabinets unless shelves have been sealed to protect materials from acids exuded by untreated wood. Treat shelves with a primer and two coats of high quality solvent-based acrylic paint or solvent-based varnish.
          Never keep newspaper clippings inside books, or store with other documents. Newsprint is highly acidic and will cause pages to turn brown and brittle.
          Remove all paper clips, staples, and rubber bands, book marks, pressed flowers, paper scraps, and other acidic materials from books before storing.
          Always use acid-free boxes, envelopes, and folders for long-term storage of books and documents rather than plastic bags and cardboard boxes.
          Avoiding Irreversible Treatments
          Never laminate materials.
          Never use conventional glue or tape, which are not acid free. Always use products identified as acid-free or acid-neutral.
          Never use rubber bands, staples, or paper clips, which can deteriorate or rust.
          Never store materials inside plastic covers that stick to any surface of the materials.
          Avoid introducing contaminated items into your collection by making sure there are no bugs, mold, or other potential hazards infecting your new acquisitions. To remove mold and mildew, freeze the book or document overnight, then brush away the ice and dust.
          Store breakables on bottom shelves to avoid accidentally dropping them.
          Never store anything on the floor, in case of flooding.
          Products for Preservation Catalogs are available from several companies which describe supplies for conservation treatment of books and documents. Some acid-free products may also be purchased from large office supply stores and art stores.
          Gaylord Brothers, Box 4901, Syracuse, NY 13221-4901. 1-800-634-6307
          University Products, P. O. Box 101, Holyoke, MA 01041. 1-800-762-1165
          Conservation Resources, 8000-H Forbes Place, Springfield, VA 22151. 1-800-634-6932
          Thank you all!
          Ben

          Bill Tarkulich <bill.tarkulich@...> wrote:
          While scanning is superior, taking a digital photograph is a reasonable and
          very safe alternative. An argument you hear a lot is that the intensity of
          the light from the scanner may accelerate the decomposition of the paper.

          If you lay out the document on a well-lit table and mount the digital camera
          on a tripod, position the camera parallel to the document, setting the
          camera to the highest quality, you will probably not need to use flash.
          This would minimize the handling of the document.

          I found a family document that was entirely crumbled and broken apart; this
          was the only way to digitize it; the results were acceptable to me.

          I think I would ask Kinkos (or a photographer) to try the above method. I
          would not advise shipping the letters regardless of the packaging and
          tracking; since she put them in the safe, she values them highly; I wouldn't
          want to live with having one lost or damaged in transit.

          Bill

          -----Original Message-----
          From: SLOVAK-ROOTS-owner@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS-owner@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Geiss
          Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 12:23 PM
          To: SLOVAK-ROOTS Moderator
          Subject: OLD LETTERS

          My niece, in the Chicago area, has some very old letters from the nineteenth
          century, sent to my grandma when she had emigrated. She keeps them in a
          fireproof safe. I had been bugging her for months to get me copies.
          Finally last week she bundled them together, and took them to Kinkos, to be
          copied. Kinko's refused to try, saying that it could permanently damage
          them; didn't recommend scanning them with the computer either. ( One of
          them is already in pieces, and is crumbling ).

          I have asked her to send them to me, just one or two at a time, to
          see how they hold up during shippiong; then I can laboriously HAND COPY
          them, then make copies of my scribbling.

          These letters probably hold valuable clues to my ancestors lives.

          Has anyone had experience with something like this, and have any
          suggestions. Tom

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • bhewlett@verizon.net
          Speaking of Kinkos...I took a baptism certificate of my grandmothers there and had them put it in plastic. This way it can be handled without worrying about
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 5, 2008
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            Speaking of Kinkos...I took a baptism certificate of my grandmothers there and had them put it in plastic. This way it can be handled without worrying about damage and I am assuming it should last indefinitely.
            Joyce>

            From: Bill Tarkulich <bill.tarkulich@...>
            >Date: 2008/06/05 Thu AM 05:09:59 EDT
            >To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: [S-R] RE: OLD LETTERS

            >
            >While scanning is superior, taking a digital photograph is a reasonable and
            >very safe alternative. An argument you hear a lot is that the intensity of
            >the light from the scanner may accelerate the decomposition of the paper.
            >
            >If you lay out the document on a well-lit table and mount the digital camera
            >on a tripod, position the camera parallel to the document, setting the
            >camera to the highest quality, you will probably not need to use flash.
            >This would minimize the handling of the document.
            >
            >I found a family document that was entirely crumbled and broken apart; this
            >was the only way to digitize it; the results were acceptable to me.
            >
            >I think I would ask Kinkos (or a photographer) to try the above method. I
            >would not advise shipping the letters regardless of the packaging and
            >tracking; since she put them in the safe, she values them highly; I wouldn't
            >want to live with having one lost or damaged in transit.
            >
            >Bill
            >
            >-----Original Message-----
            >From: SLOVAK-ROOTS-owner@yahoogroups.com
            >[mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS-owner@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Geiss
            >Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 12:23 PM
            >To: SLOVAK-ROOTS Moderator
            >Subject: OLD LETTERS
            >
            >My niece, in the Chicago area, has some very old letters from the nineteenth
            >century, sent to my grandma when she had emigrated. She keeps them in a
            >fireproof safe. I had been bugging her for months to get me copies.
            >Finally last week she bundled them together, and took them to Kinkos, to be
            >copied. Kinko's refused to try, saying that it could permanently damage
            >them; didn't recommend scanning them with the computer either. ( One of
            >them is already in pieces, and is crumbling ).
            >
            >I have asked her to send them to me, just one or two at a time, to
            >see how they hold up during shippiong; then I can laboriously HAND COPY
            >them, then make copies of my scribbling.
            >
            >These letters probably hold valuable clues to my ancestors lives.
            >
            >Has anyone had experience with something like this, and have any
            >suggestions. Tom
            >
            >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
          • Nick Holcz
            Joyce, just make sure the envelopes you store your documents in are acid free and designed for document storage. Nick
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 5, 2008
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              Joyce, just make sure the envelopes you store your documents in
              are acid free and designed for document storage.

              Nick
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