Workshop to offer tips and tools for preserving heirlooms |

Workshop to offer tips and tools for preserving heirlooms

Margaret Hair

Tread of Pioneers will offer tips for preserving family heirlooms, such as photos, books and clothing, in a free workshop Tuesday.

— Eventually, your family memories – and the photographs, clothing, china and books that maintain them – will decay.

The Tread of Pioneers Museum hopes to offer tools to help slow that process with a Tuesday workshop about preserving family heirlooms.

“Degradation is something that’s going to happen because time happens, but I can show them how to slow that down,” Tread of Pioneers curator Katie Peck said.

In a free, hour-long workshop that will be presented twice, Peck will demonstrate how to properly preserve items such as photographs and books, and offer tips on what methods and materials to use in that process.

For photos, Peck recommends interweaving acid-free paper through the pages of a photo album to stop gases the paper might release from yellowing pictures. Making digital scans of any especially dear photos is a way to ensure having a copy of them if the originals are damaged.

For other items, Peck said she often is asked how to keep a wedding dress in good enough condition to hand down through the years.

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“Just hanging them in the closet isn’t good enough if you want to preserve it for your generation,” Peck said. She recommends wrapping the dress in acid-free tissue and keeping it in a box, instead of letting gravity pull at its shoulders.

An environment with consistent temperatures and relatively low humidity is important for keeping most items in one piece, Peck said, so storing heirlooms in an attic or basement is not advisable.

In addition to preservation tips, Peck said the museum also will offer a list of resources and have items such as acid-free paper and pens on hand for purchase. She said the workshop will address general preservation questions, as well as how to care for specific items.

“We get calls throughout the year about what people should do with specific artifacts or heirlooms, so we encourage them to bring those in,” Peck said.

To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204 or e-mail

If you go

What: “Preserving Your Family Heirlooms”

When: Noon to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Tread of Pioneers Museum, 800 Oak St.

Cost: Free

Call: 879-2214