The Best Ways to Preserve Your Family History and Heritage
As much as you care about your loved ones, you know that there will come a time when they are no longer around and can no longer be with you. This may result in you losing a significant part of your family history and heritage. When that individual passes on, you lose out on the stories that he or she once told and may have a difficult time putting together a history of your family. There are some amazing ways in which you can preserve your family heritage and history for future generations.
Organize Family Papers
Organizing family papers is one way you can preserve your memories and important documents for the next generation. This can include letters your mother and father exchanged when they dated, birth certificates from those who passed on and military documents when a loved one entered or left the military. If you decide to keep those documents and papers in your home, make sure that you store the items in special boxes that prevent sun damage from affecting the ink. Use archival paper in between each document to keep those papers from rubbing against each other. Though archival paper is a little on the expensive side, it will preserve and protect any papers you need saved.
Display Awards and Medals
Are you one of the thousands of people across the country that store old awards and medals in a drawer or in a box in your closet? When a loved one passes away and you inherit his or her awards, you may not know what to do with that memorabilia. Instead of keeping it tucked away in your home, invest in some display boxes. These wood boxes often feature UV protected glass pieces in front with some type of soft fabric in the back. That soft fabric keeps the treasures safe and reduces the risk that you might scratch those items.
Create Digital Records
While keeping copies and original documents in your home is great for you, it isn’t so great for the others in your family. Creating digital copies of those records lets you share all that information with every member in your family. As long as you have a copier and scanner, you can start sharing birth certificates and other documents. Make sure that you carefully place each document in the copier and that you use a cautious hand to prevent the paper from cracking or breaking. If you have paperwork that is in poor condition, you might hire an expert to scan the documents and make copies for you.
Take Oral Histories
Now is the best time to take oral histories of your elderly and older loved ones. You never know when the unexpected might happen, which is why it’s so important that you begin the interview process as soon as possible. Watching online interviews done by historical societies, like an interview with Warren Stephens, for example, can help you figure out what to ask. You may even get help finding out how to stage the interview and make your loved ones feel more comfortable. Whether you do voice recordings only or use a digital camcorder, you can make copies to share with other members of your family.
Launch a Family Website
One way you can preserve your heritage is with a website. Encourage your family to contribute photographs and paperwork they might have. You can even set up the page to allow others to post and share their information. Launching a family website also lets you create a detailed family tree that highlights each member of your family. They can add details when they have a new baby, link to documents they found online and ensure that all the information on the site is valid.
Preserving your family heritage lets you share everything about your family with the next generation.