Each year, the preservation community observes MayDay on May 1 to promote disaster preparedness and recovery. Along with Preservation Week (April 26 – May 2) and Preservation Month throughout May, MayDay is a great time to ensure that your family heirlooms are protected against harm.
Water is among the greatest threats to books, documents, and photographs. Water can cause permanent staining, fading, and warping. It also increases other risks, like mold and pest infestation. Here in Texas, hurricanes and thunderstorms make flooding a very real concern.
How can you guard your keepsakes from flood damage? One simple step is to store items off the floor. The majority of floods leave just a few inches of water behind. Storing materials in elevated cabinets or shelves keeps them out of harm’s way. If your storage furniture is flush to the ground, consider elevating it with bricks, cinder blocks, or other materials. Just a few inches of clearance can turn a potential disaster into a quick cleanup.
For more on this and other Preservation Week tips, visit TSLAC’s Facebook page. Happy MayDay!
Each spring, the preservation community celebrates Preservation Week and MayDay with special events that promote the preservation of cultural heritage. This May, TSLAC Conservation joins our State and Local Records Management Division in offering a free webinar, “Disaster Recovery and Salvage for Government Records,” on Thursday, May 22, at 10 AM Central Time. View course information at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/353363082
Though the course addresses some specific needs of government records managers, registration is open to all. Basics of physical recovery will be discussed along with legal obligations for state government. Learn about safely drying books, paper, photographs, and electronic media, as well as preparing for hazards such as flood, mold, and insects. Institutional recovery contracting and decision-making will be covered, with a special focus on Texas state and local records. This unique, collaborative course is newly updated from its 2012 debut as part of our 2014 preservation activities.
Insects thrive in warm, moist environments. They can cause extensive damage to record-keeping materials, as seen on the spine of this book.