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Memorabilia Storage and Organizing (eHow)

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Memorabilia Storage & Organizing (eHow)

MJJCGiveaway1By Lesley Barker, eHow Contributor 

updated: December 1, 2009  

Memorabilia is a very broad category that ranges from ephemeral like old tickets and posters to family diaries, photographs and artifacts. So, to write an article that discusses strategies for storing and organizing memorabilia has to be limited to the general concepts. Whatever your collection includes, you must store it so that it is preserved intact and safe. For both insurance purposes, and to organize the collection, you should make a photographic record of each item. Finally, any provenance that you know should be placed in writing in the records.

Safe Storage:

1. Keeping your memorabilia stored safely is the only way to allow the collection to hold or even increase in value. Paper items like posters, photographs and letters should be kept in acid free frames or containers so that the paper does not disintegrate. They should also be protected from direct light so that the ink will not fade. Both paper and textile memorabilia must be kept dry so as to protect it from mildew. They also have to be protected from rodents and insects. The Gaylord Company sells a full line of storage options for archival materials and its website is full of information about how to store various types of items. If your memorabilia collection is made up of artifacts, keep them in a dust-free environment where they will be safe from any accidental breakage whether they are on display or packed in boxes. 

Create A Digital Record

2. Take a picture of each item in your collection. When you use a digital camera, you can upload the images to your computer and then place thumbnail copies of each picture in an excel file or database. If your collection is of documents and photographs, scan them into a jpeg file using your printer/scanner. Then you can work with them as images and insert them into your database. If you use either an Excel spreadsheet or an Access database to organize your memorabilia, you can create a pivot table or run a query to display information about your collection so that you can consider it by date, type of item, or even subject matter. Make sure to indicate on your database or spreadsheet where each item is physically located. 

Include Provenance

3. While you may remember exactly when, where, from whom and why you got each item in your collection of memorabilia, it is important to document this information. Called provenance, it allows appraisers to figure out whether an item is authentic and then to set its monetary value. As your collection grows, if you have several similar items, you may need to refer back to the written information to keep them straight in your own mind. When you pass your collection of memorabilia down to your heirs or contribute it to a museum, the notes you included with the collection are key to its integrity. Keep a copy of the provenance with each item as well as in your database or spreadsheet. Make sure to include its original price if you bought it or know what it cost. 

Source: http://www.ehow.com/way_5179912_memorabilia-storage-organizing.html


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