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Preserve your family history and cherish your ancestors' traditions, moments, and memorabilia with our easy ideas.
Joe Callahan, chairman of the Scrapbook Preservation Society recommends using acid free, buffered paper to preserve historical family items you want to use in a scrapbook.
If you display original newspaper clippings, use an archival mist to neutralize acids on the paper's surface, and place them into an archival-quality protective sleeve, preferably one made from polyethylene, polypropylene, or polyester (avoid PVC).
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Unveil your family history by beginning your own genealogical search that involves conducting family interviews, collecting records, and getting in touch with others who share your interest or family name.
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Not everyone is blessed with a close relative who is a family-history buff. But just about anyone can figure out where their people come from and use that knowledge to enjoy family-roots travel, whether that means simply taking the kids to see the hometown where your parents or grandparents lived in New England, or going a bit further down the branches of the family tree in San Francisco.
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A few sheets of paper with some precise folds are all you need to create this wonderful keepsake. Once you fill it with generations of family photographs and memories, it becomes a very special gift for relatives.
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Keep the family spirit alive and learn about your ancestors by hosting a reunion to bring together relatives near and far. Burn photos and any audio and video recordings from the gathering onto a disc to send to the entire family.
Most office-supply stores carry round self-adhesive labels that can be personalized on a home computer; design a family logo, and print it onto the labels following the manufacturer's instructions. Some burners offer a direct disc-labeling feature, which allows you to transfer your design right onto discs.
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Make a Family Website
If you had a family reunion and created a website in the planning process, keep it going long after the event. Otherwise, create a website to share family news, history, traditions, post pictures and audio and video clips, and, of course, set the ball rolling for the next reunion.
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Keep a great tradition like hand-me-down recipes in the family for generations to come. Film yourself cooking the special dishes step-by-step, so relatives can see how to prepare the dishes correctly. Take one of your favorite pictures, and print the image on a sticky label designed to fit a DVD.
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Digital Family Scrapbook
Preserve family history with a digital family scrapbook. With the latest scrapbook software, you can lay out a digital or scanned-in photographs alongside captions and design elements. The pages can be printed, e-mailed, or burned onto CDs and sent to family members.
Software options range from basic templates to more-sophisticated programs that let you incorporate decorative details into your layouts.
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Record Family Interviews
Discover family history straight from the source -- your relatives! Record interviews from senior family members at a reunion or gathering by covering the basics, such as the subject's full name, date and place of birth, and occupation with a digital video camera. Then ask open-ended questions to prompt interesting life stories, like, "When did our family first arrive in this country, and where did those relatives emigrate from?"
The recordings can be cleaned up with basic audio-editing software and preserved on CDs.