Preserving Family Treasures and Heirlooms

The National Archives of Australia has announced the release of Keeping Family Treasures, an
illustrated guide on how to look after precious family heirlooms in the home.

Using the family treasures of famous and lesser-known Australians, National Archives conservators provide helpful preservation advice on caring for family keepsakes. Contributors to the guide include cookery writer Margaret Fulton, ABC presenter Andy Muirhead, and actor and historian Alice Garner.

The chapters address preserving letters, albums, photographs, diaries and notebooks, scrapbooks, and precious objects and textiles. The preservation of audio and video tapes, home movie film, CDs and DVDs and time capsules is also covered.

Conservator and co-author Ian Batterham said, “With interest in family history at an all-time high, more people recognise the importance of preserving their family’s special records, but aren’t sure where to start. Keeping Family Treasures fills the gap with professional advice that isn’t available elsewhere in such a readable form.”

“Keeping Family Treasures provides an opportunity for the Archives to extend this assistance and knowledge to the public. The book also continues the family history theme central to the Archives’ previous publication, Family Journeys,” he said.

Ian Batterham is a senior conservator at the National Archives and author of The Office Copying Revolution. Keeping Family Treasures joint author Elizabeth Masters writes for the National Archives and is the author of Australia’s Government Explained.

Keeping Family Treasures is available through the National Archives e-shop for $24.95. Further information is available at

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