Family records, valuable autographs, and other precious paper items can rot over time, and their ink can fade if they are not stored properly. If you have valuable paper items that you would like to keep intact for the long haul, ensure that these paper preservation conditions are met wherever you store or display them:
Clean, Comfortable Environment
As far as temperature and humidity are considered, the best environment for storing valuable papers is one that you yourself may consider ideal. A consistent temperature between 60 and 70 degrees and a humidity index between 40 and 50 percent keeps papers from showing their age as time passes. It can protect them from mold and moisture damage, as well as prevent them from drying out. The air where you store your papers should also be clean, dust-free, and well circulated.
Limited Exposure to Light
Valuable papers are best stored in darker rooms, without windows and lights. If you wish to display your valuable papers in a frame on the wall or in your display case, ensure that they are in a place that receives no direct sunlight and refrain from using fluorescent lighting in the room.
Another factor to consider when preserving your valuable paper items is protection from theft, fire, and water damage. A waterproof safe with a high fire rating is one way to go about meeting these criteria. Whatever type of storage case you decide on, ensure that it is clean and free of dust. And as far as handling goes, always clean, rinse, and dry your hands before handling valuable paper goods. If you have them, wear gloves as well. This will prevent you from smudging the papers with oil.
If you do not have storage or display space for your valuable paper items that meets these conditions, you can keep them in a bank safety deposit box. For access to an extensive and ever-changing selection of autographs, signed photos, and valuable historic documents from which you can pick and choose what to add to your collection, call Coins of the Realm at (301) 340-1640. We also have one of the largest coin collection in Gaithersburg for all of the coin collectors out there.