Cool Tools

Cool Tools

Preserve, store and display your heirlooms using the experts' tried-and-true favorite products.

• A plethora of companies specialize in archival storage and presentation materials such as paper, envelopes, folders, plastic sleeves and boxes. Try Light Impresssions (800-828-6216, <www.lightimpressionsdirect.com>), University Products (800-628-1912, <www.universityproducts.com>) and Archival Methods (866-877-7050, <www.archivalmethods.com>).

• Institutions including the ICP choose CDs such as Archival Gold, made with a 24k gold (rather than silver) reflective layer to stop CD degradation. They’re available from Light Impressions.

• Professionals wear white cotton gloves to avoid transferring dirt and oil from their hands to heirlooms. Purchase your own washable pair from the aforementioned archival suppliers.

• A number of companies, including Epson <epson.com> and Hewlett-Packard <www.hp.com>, now manufacture ink-jet printers that use pigment-based inks, which archivists recommend over other inks. They’re available from most major computer sellers.

• Intended for cleaning computers and other small electronics, vacuum microattachment tools also are ideal for textiles. You can get a nine-piece kit at CyberGuys.com <www.cyberguys.com/templates/searchdetail.asp? productid=371>.

• Since commercial hangers and dust covers rarely meet the needs of professional conservators, most devise their own. If you’re even remotely handy with a needle and thread, experts say you can easily cover hangers and make dust covers. You can purchase archival cotton batting and muslin from a store such as Talas (212-219-0770, <talasonline.com>).

From the September 2007 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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