Slowing the March of Time:
Preserving and Protecting Items of Personal and Historical Significance
General Storage Ideas
This page mainly deals with strategies that will provide some safety for most of your older valuables and heirlooms. These are general guidelines, for item specific guidelines follow this link.
General materials that could help you preserve/conserve include:
Acid free paper, folders, boxes, etc.
"Safe" plastic storage folders, boxes, etc.
Generally store in acid free paper or safe plastics and (when possible) organize and label stored items to reduce handling.
Store/display items in an area with good ventilation and airflow. Keep all air filters clean, also vacuum and dust regularly. If possible, prohibit smoking in or near your storage/display area. If renovations are planned, seek alternate storage space during that time. Limit contact with body oil (wear gloves when handling) and cleaning items.
Remove any foreign objects - paper clips, rubber bands, safety pins, tape, extra acidic paper, etc., this includes post it notes - they are adhesive.
Don't "stuff" something to make it fit, crease or, hang heavy objects without support, etc.
Keep written history of object.
Keep away from bright light - employ shades/drapes, possibly even UV filter windows/lights - don't expose to Xerox or flash.
Use moderate, constant temperature - optimum 60-70F.
Humidity should be moderate and constant as well (general optimum 45-55%_ - too high can grow mold, to low can deteriorate-acid acceleration, etc.
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