HOW DO I PRESERVE AND ORGANIZE MY STUFF?
If you would like to donate materials to BALA, it would be helpful to have your things organized to some extent before handing them to us. Below is an easy way to prepare your memorabilia. Please read What We’re Collecting for a complete list of the kinds of things we accept.
You might be concerned that it will be overwhelming to look at and let go of materials you've saved for decades that have personal and emotional significance. It's often easier and could be fun to spend a day with a friend as you handle things that hold memories for you.
When you're ready to donate your materials, you'll need to sign a Deed of Gift which officially gives BALA ownership of the material. Please download the document and have it ready to give to us with your boxes. If you're concerned about donating potentially sensitive materials, the Deed of Gift gives you options for who can view them and when those boxes can be opened.
Please contact us if you need help filling out the Deed of Gift or have questions about what materials we will accept.
Start gathering your memorabilia (documents, photographs, event flyers, posters, brochures, invitations, postcards, t-shirts, buttons, cassette tapes, journals, diaries, letters, magazines, newspapers etc.)
Get some boxes (Banker’s boxes are good), collect everything you can find in any of the above categories and put them in the boxes.
Now you need to start organizing. There are many ways that you can do this. Some people like to use hanging file folders (acid free are best), but you can also use large envelopes, cardboard or plastic portfolios, ziplock bags or other kinds of containers.
Separate out your photos from other memorabilia. Then separate your other materials into types (for example, all your buttons, all your journals, all your flyers). It might be helpful to put all documents, flyers and any kind of paper in file folders.
Next, label your file folders and boxes by a system that makes sense to you. One easy way is chronologically by decade. You can also label your folders or boxes by subject, for example: Photos of Dyke Marches; Women’s Music Concert Flyers, Love Letters; Buttons. If possible, include notes explaining how memorabilia, flyers, and clippings relate to your life.
It’s extremely important for photographs to have identifying information, otherwise no one will know the context. It’s best to use a #1 or #2 pencil to put the details on the back of each photo. Include all the info you know: who’s in the photo (from left to right), event, geographical location, approximate date, and the name of the photographer.