Firstly we recommend that you assess your current storage methods and whether your treasured memories, documents or collectables are in a safe and secure environment, in particular the condition and location.
Are they exposed or subject to :
- Light in particular sunlight
- High & fluctuating temperatures
- Damp conditions & excessive humility.
- Dust and Dirt.
- Ordinary paper, card, metal, pvc, etc that could cause possible chemical reactions due to the material(s) they are in contact with
- Insect or vermin attack
- Poor handling and folding
- Lack of organisation
- Indexing and recording with pens/felt –tip pens
- Excessive weight bearing
- Adhesives/ tape/ sellotape & lamination
- No back ups (if applicable)
The above list should be considered as a list of don’ts as each factor could in itself cause lasting and permanent damage from fading and discolouration to tarnishing, scratches, creases and staining etc to your collection.
- Always handle with care and try and avoid fingerprints etc and for sensitive, rare and delicate documents and coins use cotton gloves.
- Always ensure your collectables are clean, free from moisture, dust and dirt before storing.
- Try and keep to a constant moderate temperature with low humility and good air circulation and away from direct sunlight and if possible not an area that could be subject unstable conditions e.g cellar/garage.
- Always use ACID –FREE and material of archival quality.
- Only use solvent free glue where necessary
- Index and label your collection.
- If using digital media storage always use back ups, preferably more than one
Why use ACID-FREE materials?
If a material is acidic and comes into contact with other materials, it can migrate and may cause lasting damage and decay leading to discolouration or eventually disintegration. By using acid free materials it will also slow the natural aging process of your collectable or image.