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4 Steps to Creating a Family Archive
5/2/2011
Got boxes of photos here, folders of documents there and heirlooms somewhere else? Follow these four steps to preserve your treasures in a manageable, organized family archive.
You've been doing the genealogy happy dance for days, since you found your great-grandmother's marriage certificate tucked inside an aunt's family Bible. It's just what you need to document the date and place of the marriage. You've dutifully transcribed the information into your genealogy database, scanned the document and backed up your digital file. Now what do you do with the precious paper record?

Genealogy organizing gurus recommend filing originals in archival storage containers separate from your research files. But how will you ever find them again? How can you preserve and protect your family's aging documents, yet keep them accessible and in order?

I faced just that challenge after inheriting five decaying cardboard boxes bulging with old letters, photos, receipts and more. Today, the contents fill several archival-quality file and flat storage boxes, yet they take up less space than the original grocery store cartons did and are preserved for decades to come. How did I do it? Follow my four-step CARE plan to set up and manage your own family archive.

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