One of the most remarkable things about memorabilia collections, whether of a type relating to music, movies, art, music or any other type of popular culture, is that it has a sort of time-machine effect on the viewer; it allows us to see trends and styles of an older era, but also gives us cause to reflect on how today’s aesthetics are influenced by trends of the past. Collections that span decades can provide a sort of timeline as to the changing tastes, political and cultural changes, and general differences in cultural attitudes that transpire over a certain period. These collections are easily the most valuable in both sentimental and financial senses, yet are also the most difficult to care for, as items need to defy the aging process in order to avoid depreciating in value. As providers of collectors insurance with the best interests of your cultural keepsakes in mind, we’ve has put together a basics-list of some of the ways you can help keep your items in pristine condition.
Set Aside a Collection Room and Invest in Climate Control.
Dehumidifiers and means of maintaining a steady temperature (ideally “room temperature” at 70-75 degrees with limited humidity, unless your collection specifically calls for a different climate) will go a long way in preserving the integrity of your items and their packaging. A particularly moist summer or frigid winter can damage cardboard and paper, warping images and creating a bleaching effect over time, which will contribute to the “aged” appearance of boxes and paper-based items. Some materials, such as wood, can undergo changes that include warping and/or a loss of structural integrity after repeated exposure to extreme temperatures. Maintaining a room at one temperature year-round is a cost-effective way to help prevent your items from depreciating in value due to the elements or other causes of aging related to climate.
Invest in Display Cases.
If you haven’t already, a display case with a UV-protective glass to shield items from light sources and dust, while still allowing for a crystal-clear view, will considerably help preserve your items. They may look nice in shelving units without these glass covers, but believe us, they’ll look better in 10, 20, 30 years if you take steps now to protect them. This measure will also prevent you from needing to dust your items as often as you would if they went unprotected.
Purchase Protective Sleeves or Holders for Storage.
If you don’t have an area devoted to year-round display of your memorabilia, don’t skimp on storage solutions. There are many options that are custom-designed for specific types of collectibles, such as plastic sleeves for cards and posters, velvet-lined boxes to protect rare coins and bullion, and boxes that will protect delicate items from jarring moves.
Lock Your Doors!
It may seem obvious, but be sure to carefully secure your collectibles whenever you are away from the place you store them. Aside from being a theft deterrent, children, pets and pests can enter an unlocked room and wreak havoc on your items; it’s best to remember to securely close any entryways to your collection in order to prevent any such easily-avoidable damage.