Sharing skills to spread the message

Sharing skills to spread the message

Carleen Dekarski Theory in action

Recently our local Museum and the council Archive conducted some free workshops. I presented on caring for your paper treasures titled “Treasures from the garage”.  Often in my role as an Archivist I come across people that have interesting collections of “stuff” but no idea how to care for them. This brought about a start to the desire to share the skills that we undertake in our daily role and spread this to our community. My wish is that our community would have some simple skills to take home and apply to their precious treasures. In the future if these archives end up in a community archive they will be in good condition to take forward or at least better than having no preservation thought applied to them.

We presented on paper treasures, photography and textiles. I even went to the other presentations as you can always learn something to add to your skill set. I know little of textiles so I was pleased to be able to take some knowledge from this to apply at the Archive or at least to know who to go to for questions I might have.

The turnout for the presentations was ok for a small town however it would be great to spread the skills wider. Another good reason that I enjoy sharing via the Arcavee site.

So what take always can I share with you on caring for your paper treasures?

1. Environment is key – constant as possible temperature and relative humidity, avoid extreme and frequent highs and lows of each, cool, dark, dry.

2. Use enclosures such as buffered envelopes or archival quality tissue or polyethylene sleeves – create a buffer between your treasures and environment and storage system e.g. cardboard box

3. Context is key, ensure original order is maintained and where possible capture as much information about the treasures that you can. You may know what your treasures are about but who else does?

4. Best preservation techniques and product is our target but even if you start with good then upgrade to better then work towards best is desirable and possibly more achievable and affordable for personal treasures.

I’m happy to share the presentation if anyone is interested. Just get in touch with me.

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About the Author

Carleen Dekarski

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I have worked in the quality management, information management and archival field over the last 15 years across Australia, England and New Zealand. The progression from information management to archives was a self taught journey and one that is not unfamiliar in many businesses and communities today. My daily expertise is grounded in local government archives however the principles of archiving apply to all. I am a member of the ICA and ARANZ.