Proper Measures to Store Your Paper Keepsakes and Memorabilia

Showing the Differences in Regular versus Archival Storage Over TimeCollecting historical documents, maps, prints and paper currency for nearly 50 years has taught me what is required to protect these fragile items for storage or display. 

When it comes to storing antique or sentimental paper, the first thing one must do is treat certain types of wood pulp paper so it doesn't continue to breakdown or age in appearance over time.  Next, store these items in clear polyester (mylar) sheets or 100% cotton based material,  like containers or albums.

Finally, store them in a cool, dry dark environment like a closet or drawer that's not in the attic or basement. This also includes the bathroom.  Humidity,  strong light and moisture are paper's worst enemies. Plus, these environmental conditions can attract insects, which love to feast on paper.

Old tape is a favorite of insects, like silverfish. I kid you not when I tell you I have seen dead and live silverfish in a frame or album of old paper.

One time, about 10 years ago, I opened a frame with old tape and paper sealing it and a silverfish jumped out and scurried under the work table!

Can you say gross??!!

When storing your sentimental paper keepsakes, make sure you follow the above guidelines to prevent damage through acids, the close environment,  even human neglect.