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Subject: Preserving election collections

Preserving election collections

From: Jeannine Mjoseth <jmjoseth<-at->
Date: Friday, January 16, 2009
Six Tips to Preserve Your Election Collections

Across the nation, Americans are saving newspapers, posters,
buttons, and bumper stickers to commemorate the historic election
and inauguration of Barack Obama, America's first African American
president. Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of the U.S. Institute of
Museum and Library Services (IMLS), encourages citizen-collectors to
make sure that their presidential inauguration collections will be
preserved long into the future.

   "The election day newspaper--cared for properly--will still be
    there years from now to remind us and future generations of this
    singular moment in American history," Radice said. "This is a
    great time to raise awareness of the need to protect election
    and inauguration-related items from common threats such as high
    temperature, humidity, and light exposure."

This guidance was excerpted from Caring for Your Family Treasures by
Heritage Preservation, IMLS's partner in Connecting to Collections,
a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative that aims to help museums and
libraries save their collections from poor storage conditions, pest
infestation, and exposure to light, humidity, and high

Follow these simple preventive steps to keep your treasures safe and
sound for the next generation:

    1.  If you feel comfortable, your treasures will be comfortable.
        When you feel hot or cold, damp or dry, so do your
        treasures. You wouldn't feel comfortable living in the
        basement or attic and neither are they. You feel better when
        there is good circulation; so do they.

    2.  Avoid extremes of temperature and humidity. Strive to
        maintain as moderate and stable a level (72 degrees
        Fahrenheit and 50 percent relative humidity) as practically
        possible. When choosing where to display or store objects
        remember that the conditions of the interior walls, room,
        and closets are more stable than those on the exterior.

    3.  Create micro-climates and use protective covers. Matting and
        framing with proper materials creates protective
        micro-climates, as do chemically stable boxes (even boxes
        within boxes). Use dust covers on stored objects and
        polyester liners on wooden shelves to protect your treasures
        from dust and pollutants.

    4.  Limit light exposure. The damaging effects of light are
        cumulative. Take precautions with the amount and type of
        light to which your treasures are exposed.

    5.  Inspect your treasures regularly and tend to problems as
        they arise. Regularly checking your treasures will help you
        monitor and tend to problems as they arise. A water
        condensation problem might not be present in the summer, but
        left unattended during the winter, could cause serious

    6.  Be sure that any alterations are reversible. Respect the
        original historic materials and structure. Don't cut an
        artwork to fit a frame. And if you must clip a photograph
        for your scrapbook, do it to a copy and keep the original
        intact elsewhere.

For more information on preserving your collections, please go to
the Guide to Online Resources section on Care For Collections at


                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:40
                 Distributed: Sunday, January 18, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-40-001
Received on Friday, 16 January, 2009

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