Care and display of your collection

Autograph and book collecting as a hobby is fun, educational and has the potential to increase in value. But the value of a collection all depends on the condition of the pieces within it. Poorly stored collections can become faded or damaged in any way it can serious decrease its value. Therefore caring and storing your autograph collection properly is very important and is something that is worth your while taking time over. Remember you may be paying excessive amounts for your items and even if you don’t want to sell your collection you will want it to last for as long as possible so preservation is paramount. Here are a few tips on how to get the best out of your autograph collection and how to keep it looking the same as when you bought it for years to come.

Paper Conservation

Paper deteriorates as a result of inherent chemical instability, external environmental factors, or a combination of the two. Most of the problems with paper arise from a change in the pH balance. Paper becomes brown, brittle, discoloured and foxed as its acidity increases. The acidity can arise because of the inclusion of poor quality fibres, acidic sizes or through poor processing. The problem is compounded when acidic pigments and inks or poor quality mounting materials are also used. Paper can suffer mechanical damage through poor handling and storage – this includes accumulated surface dirt, oily fingerprints, creases, tears and stains. Stains and adhesive residues from old sticky tape, used to mount or repair works are a common problem. Read more.

Care and display of your book collection

Books are made from a complex range of organic material including paper, leather and fabric. Bindings can vary greatly in both style and strength. Older books (pre nineteenth century) are often bound in full leather. Books produced more recently are often cheaply bound, for example paperbacks. Read more.