Conservation

Family heirlooms are the objects, documents, and materials that connect us to our family history. Over the years, a combination of time and the elements can wear these objects out, making them too fragile to handle or destroying them all together.  But there are some simple steps you can take to slow this deterioration and extend the life of these objects for future generations.

General guidelines:
  • Store your objects in a cool, dry place (avoid attics, basements, or garages)
  • Avoid using old cardboard boxes for storage
  • When storing newspapers, textiles or other flexible materials, package them loosely, with as few folds as possible. 
  • Label photos with pencil or archival pens
  • Use archival-rated materials to store photos and other objects

For additional general guidelines, check out the NEDCC’s resource page for private and family collections: http://www.nedcc.org/resources/resources.php

Below are some additional resources from around the museum and collections community, containing practical information for how to care for your objects, based on the types of materials you have.  

Glass/Ceramics

Glass/Ceramics

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Wooden Furniture

Wooden Furniture

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Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered Furniture

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Silver

Silver

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Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks

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Brass/Bronze

Brass/Bronze

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Textiles

Textiles

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Quilts

Quilts

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Rugs

Rugs

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Bookstore

Bookstore