Dos and don’ts of preserving and organising your family history


16 April 2020
Our family history research is really precious to us, right? But even so it’s very easy to misplace things, to leave things unfiled or stored haphazardly and not as well organised as we’d like them to be. Jackie Depelle has a raft of ideas to help you adopt great new habits however. Read on…

Last year at Family Tree Live Jackie’s workshops on preserving and organising your family history were full to bursting, with people all keen to learn how to improve their family history housekeeping.

Well, we can’t do a workshop right now, but here - as part of Family Tree Virtually Live 2020 - are a few valuable tips to get you thinking about ways you can improve the way you keep your family history items without too much trouble at all.

DON’T Laminate – lamination with cause the items to ‘sweat’, the humidity causing future deterioration of an original historic item


DO encapsulate – storing your documents and photographs in archive quality wallets, acid free tissue paper, and breathable card boxes


DON’T use staples, pins and paperclips that may rust


DO use brass or plastic paperclips

DON’T use sellotape

DO use document repair tape

DON’T store items in the loft or cellar, or direct sunlight

DO choose a temperate area of your home that has a fairly consistent temperature, out of direct sunlight, northern light being preferable

DON’T over clean items

DO use a soft rubber or brush to remove loose dirt


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Get the handout!

Click here to download Jackie’s handout which is packed with ideas to help you have both a better preserved and better organised family history archive at home.

About Jackie Depelle

Jackie Depelle is a family history tutor, speaker and event organiser and a keen member of many family history societies. She also has an interest in local history and one-name studies. Find out more about her work and events at

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

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