This is the second post in a week-long series celebrating National Preservation Week. NMAM blog posts in this series will discuss how to preserve your own modeling history.
The instructions for your first RC system. Your first AMA membership card. Photographs of the trophy presentation for your Nats win. The notes & research from the three years you spent building a scale model of a P-63. All these things contain memories of your modeling career, as well as information about your life and the world around you. Some simple changes to how you care for and handle these items will help them last a long time.
Start off by:
1. Washing & thoroughly drying your hands before handling any documents or photographs you want to preserve.
2. Try to handle them only around the edges. If it is larger, or fragile and needs more support do so, but keep your touch gentle.
3. Explain what they are. Use a soft lead pencil (like a 6B, which is available where most art supplies are sold) to write the basic info on the back of the photograph or document. Stay away from using ink, as it can stain the front of the photograph, or bleed through paper.
4. Don’t fold or roll the items to store them.
5. Don’t use any adhesive. Put them in a scrapbook using photo corners.
6. Keep them away from lots of sunlight and dust, as well as food and drink (boxes are great).
7. Keep them in an environment where you consistently feel comfortable – it shouldn’t be too hot, or too cold.
8. Photocopy any articles, especially newspaper articles, that you want to keep. Newspaper is horribly acidic and will become discolored and brittle over time.
Go a bit further:
1. Purchase acid-free folders and boxes from a museum products supplier like Gaylord or Hollinger Metal Edge.
2. Use acid-free paper between pages or photographs. (Tip: check out your local office supply store and look for high-quality business papers that are said to be “acid-free and lignin-free”)
AMA Archivist Jackie Shalberg’s Preserving Scrapbook Advice in Model Aviation May 2013 and June 2013.
Sponsored by the ALA’s Association for Library Collections and Technical Services and partner organizations, Preservation Week will inspire actions to preserve personal, family and community collections of all kinds, as well as library, museum and archive collections. It will raise awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions can play in providing ongoing preservation information. More information can be found at: www.ala.org/preservationweek.