Good morning, thank you for all your kind words and advice with regard to my late mother-in-law’s and late sisters-in-law’s effects getting absolutely soaked after sitting in a box on our porch for who knows how long.
The most common advice I got was to freeze the pictures. Unfortunately we’ve been buying in bulk to minimize going to the store, and we have no room. Here’s what I ended up doing:
Got a cookie tray and an oscillating space heater. Opened the wet packs of pictures one by one and separated out the duplicates, pictures of trees/snow/cats, and put them aside. The other ones I arranged in front of the space heater (which was on heat level 4 out of 10) and let them sit and dry for about ten minutes. Then I checked them. The ones that were damp kept drying, while the ones that were dry and curling got pressed. The ones that were dry and flat were arranged in layers in a cardboard box with paper towels in between. (I know I should be using something like waxed paper but I don’t have any.) I have ordered some equipment and will be spending the weekend cobbling together a computer to do scanning of all this material.
I did this for nine hours and managed to get through several hundred pictures. Unfortunately that’s all I managed to do. On Fridays I care for my Granny so I’ll be off to do that shortly. When I get back I’ll keep going at a slower pace.
Apologies for being so dramatic yesterday. Irene’s been gone for two months as of yesterday, and contrary to many jokes, we got along famously over the 25+ years I’ve been married to her son. When I opened the door and saw those soaked boxes standing in water it hurt a lot. It’s very important to me that I get these pictures as recovered as possible so I can scan them and give them to my husband’s kids and grandkids and nieces and nephews. I want them to have their history. I am so deeply grateful to you for offering your expertise and commiserations. How could I not love you?
Oh, I almost forgot: this is a SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR LIBRARIANS AND ARCHIVISTS IN ALASKA. I have a bunch of pictures of the 1967 flood that Irene took, both indoor and outdoor pictures of damage, standing water, etc. Do you think any of the flood project sites would want them? My husband is fine with it and happy to sign any permission slips.
Love you lots. See you tonight or tomorrow with more ResearchBuzz/CoronaBuzz.