There is something very special and unique about being able to touch a piece of our family's history. One very unique piece that I have is the James Kennicutt Whitman family bible. (James Kennicott Whitman, Family Bible Records, 1850-1932, The Holy Bible, Rochester, NY: Wanzer, Foote & Co., 1851. Privately held in 2008 by Rebecca Whitman Koford [address privately held].)
There are three very important things to do with such a historic document: 1) reproduce, 2) transcribe, 3) preserve. In this case, the reproduction was done digitally, with scans of the family marriages, deaths, and other pages. The transcription with copies of the digital scans should be sent to family members and to repositories who collect them (such as the NSDAR), and finally, the artifact or fragile document should be preserved. Preservation for the Whitman family bible was done with Archival Method's (http://www.archivalmethods.com/) Collection Edition Boxes and archival tissue. The museum-quality acid- and lignin-free materials will keep the fragile 150-plus year old documents safer than other more popular "some where in the attic" options.