Rather than keep your family’s memories packed away, display your favorite keepsakes for everyone to enjoy. But before you hang that old map or your great-grandparents wedding photo, protect them items from the damaging sunlight and uneven temperatures they’ll be exposed to.
- When framing original materials, do as museums do: Make sure anything touching your document—from the mounting board to the backing—is acid-free and lignin-free. (Archival framing materials are available from suppliers such as Archival Methods, Gaylord Brothers and University Products.)
- To protect the item from damaging sunlight, use ultraviolet-resistant glass or acrylic.
- Stretch a paper dust cover across the back of the frame to prevent dust particles and insects from infiltrating it.
- When you’re ready to show off your family history, hang the frame in a stable environment—avoid bathrooms, the kitchen, and walls above heat sources such as a radiators.
Since only experts would be able to discern a copy from the real McCoy, another, less-involved option is to scan the original document and print out a high-quality copy for display.