Many individuals today collect novelty and other items as a pastime. Some of the top items collected by people are stamps, coins, dolls, artwork, antiques, comic books, old video games and movies in various formats, even cars! Collecting items can not only be an enjoyable hobby but could turn out to be an extremely valuable endeavour over time. Some key things to pay attention to when collecting is the need to protect and preserve these items by taking steps to ensure that they are not damaged or destroyed by anything or anyone as time passes. The value of the item increases when it remains as close as possible to its original state or form. Here are five general tips for preservation of collector's items.
1. Keep original packaging, inclusive of cases and enclosures intact.
2. Store items in the optimal environment for their format wherever possible e.g. paper-based materials at 18-21 degrees Celsius.
3. Always use inert (non-chemical) materials for storage and cleaning. Acid-free and other archival quality materials/cleaners are always best.
4. Good housekeeping will prevent the build up of dust and other particulates.
5. Avoid over-handling of originals by creating surrogates (copies) for access wherever possible. Keep master copies in a cool, dark and dry environment.
Collectors always have to bear in mind the risks they have to manage and mitigate those risks by taking measured steps to protect their precious items. Happy collecting!