DIY Preservation

Unfortunately, museum staff are unable to provide valuation, authentication, or conservation services. However, we’ve assembled recommendations to help you do-it-yourself and links to guide you to the right expert.


Top 10 Conservation Tips

Keep It Dim
Light fades ink and deteriorates natural fibers. Damage from light is irreversible.

Keep It Dry
Store boxes of heirlooms off of the floor. Avoid basements and plumbing that could fail.

Keep It Cool
A cool, stable temperature works best for long-term preservation.

Keep It Original
Consult a conservation specialist before cleaning, repairing, or restoring historic items. Think carefully before removing original patina.

Keep It Clean
Clean textiles prior to storing to preserve fibers and avoid attracting insects.

Keep It Secure
Make loss by theft less likely by keeping small valuables locked up.

Keep It Together
Heirlooms stored in one place can be evacuated more easily in an emergency.

Keep It Acid-free
Avoid acidic cardboard storage boxes for clothing, quilts, and paper. Opt for acid-free or polyester plastic boxes for long-term storage of important items.

Keep Copies
Copy original documents and photographs. Handle and display copies and store the originals.

Keep Your Story
Names, dates, and stories are easily lost. Write down why this item was important to you to keep, preferably with a photograph.