Why you may not have to throw out your flood-damaged documents

Why you may not have to throw out your flood-damaged documents

Do you have some treasured family photos, a great-grandparent's diary, some important legal documents or something sentimental that's been damaged by the floods in New Brunswick?

Fred Farrell, the director at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, said his team may be able to help restore some of these items and offer advice on how to protect them in the future.

For damaged personal items, he said the archives can freeze them to help stop deterioration and the spread of mould.

Also, they can attempt to fix documents and touch up old photos depending on how long they've been in the water.

"If things are either beyond repair or the original item maybe isn't all that worthy of salvaging, we might be able to copy it so that the information is captured if the original item can't be resuscitated," he said on CBC's Shift N.B.

Farrell said old photographs are "pretty sturdy" and could be salvageable as "they've probably survived lots of trauma over the years."

Digitization is another option as "you can do an awful lot of clean up in the new copy that you make and that can really produce wonderful results," he said.

Items could be of value to province

Farrell said people's documents and photos may have more value than they perceive.

"Almost always when people bring us in things they have something that they really haven't paid much attention to, but actually could be very valuable to the history of the province," he said.

"There's a gem of some sort sitting there that they haven't realized they had or they haven't realized the importance of it."

Even if you weren't affected by the flood, Farrell said you should start thinking about protecting your documents for the future.

If you have something damaged that you'd like restored, the archives can be reached through its website.