State and federal agencies, private foundations and corporations fund programs that provide monetary and other help to archives, historical societies, libraries and other not-for-profit organizations that house and care for historical records. The New York State Archives offers grants and awards to support, promote and recognize sound archival practices, as well as to encourage creative and valuable uses of archival records.
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Questions may come up about the copyright of records in your collections. If questions arise about a specific record or series of records, you should contact an attorney. For some general information concerning copyright, visit the US Copyright Office webpage.
The best way to save your old newspaper clippings is to make photocopies onto good quality archival paper and discard the originals. Old news clippings can contaminate other records around them because the newsprint is highly acidic.
Costumes are not historical records but artifacts. For help with these contact The Museum Association of New York.
Always use gloves when handling photographs. Don't use paperclips or other fasteners. It is usually best to place single photos into polyester or polyethylene enclosures. Don't try to lift anything stuck to a photograph. Repairs to damaged photos should only be undertaken by a trained conservator. Find our more in our historical photographs workshops.
The New York State Archives provides many services to local governments and non-governmental historical records repositories to help improve the management of their historical records. The Managing Historical Records webpage on our website provides links for resources that cover the spectrum of managing historical records, from getting started, to their identification and protection, to making them widely available.
Generally speaking, scrapbooks pose many challenges. They are usually oversize and contain a multitude of formats: photographs, postcards, letters, artifacts, etc. Older scrapbooks may have brittle pages and broken bindings which would make the books and contents vulnerable to damage when handling. Still photography and microfilming are the preferable methods to deal with these challenges.
Videos are more fragile than motion picture film and wear out in 7 to 15 years. When converting films and photos to VHS, save the original copy. Photos and films will remain in good condition for a longer period of time than VHS tapes. Major causes of videotape deterioration are heat, humidity, dirt, magnetic fields and improper handling. Symptoms of breakdown or deterioration are fuzzy images, blank spots and static on the tape.
Some tips concerning video tapes:
No. Trophies, game footballs, etc, are artifacts. Their care and organization are approached differently from the care of historical records.