Keeping Your Treasures Safe

It’s National Preservation Week (April 22-28)!!!! Brookens Library houses the University Archives, which serves not only the University of Illinois campus community but also the community of Springfield and surrounding cities. Our Archivist and Archives staff work hard to preserve treasures from the past and present and they would like to share some information about how YOU can keep YOUR treasures safe.

1.) If you feel comfortable, your treasures will be comfortable. When you feel hot or cold, damp or dry, so do your treasures.

2.) Create micro-climates and use protective covers. Matting and framing with proper materials creates protective
micro-climates, as do chemically stable boxes.

3.) 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.

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.) Respond promptly. The speed with which you respond to a problem can diminish its severity.

6.) 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.

7.) Avoid do-it-yourself repairs and treatments. When in doubt, consult a professional conservator.

8.) Use the gentlest means possible. Blot, don’t rub. Brush, don’t scrub.

9.) Be sure that any alterations are reversible. Respect the original historic materials & structure. Don’t cut an artwork to fit a frame. If you must clip a photograph,do it to a copy & keep the original.

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