Friday, March 9, 2012

How Not To Care For Your Vintage and Antique Dolls, Textiles, and Old and Antique Photographs

The other day I was scanning scrapbooks for a PowerPoint presentation. Not only were many of the photographs taped to the scrapbook pages, so were newspaper clippings and various notes about people and events in the scrapbooks. Because of that, I was unable to scan a lot of important items since I couldn't remove them from the scrapbook pages without destroying them and I couldn't fit the full pages into the scanner.

You see this a lot in scrapbooks, particularly older ones, and in old photograph albums. Tape and glue are the very worst things for photographs and newspaper and magazine clippings. The adhesive on household tape eventually eats through newsprint, and can tear the backs of photos if they need to be removed from album pages. Our grandparents and great-grandparents were notorious for gluing what are now fragile old pictures to scrapbook pages, often making it impossible to see if there were names and dates written on the back. Of course, our ancestors were also notorious for very often not bothering to write anything at all on the backs of their photos, provoking great frustration in modern day genealogists.

Decorative cardboard corners are widely available for scrapbooking. Gluing in just the corners allows you, or whoever inherits your scrapbooks, to easily remove photos and clippings for scanning and copying. If you really want to make an heirloom for future generations, please invest just a little more time and money and make sure that securing the items in your scrapbooks and albums doesn't end up damaging them. Keeping your old and new albums and scrapbooks in plastic bins with tight-fitting lids will protect them from insects, water damage, and environmental hazards such as cigarette smoke and dry air caused by your home's heating system.

Sunlight is death to fabrics. I have an old, possibly antique china head doll who is dressed in a charming, green plaid handmade dress, the front of which is faded from apparent years of direct sun exposure. Keep your dolls, quilts, bedspreads, and other items with vintage textiles out of sunlight. Antique and vintage quilts are best displayed on quilt racks or hangers. Check frequently for any signs of insect damage. DO NOT store dolls, albums, scrapbooks, or textiles in attics or basements. Although they are the most common storage spaces, they are the places in your home where insect pests such as silverfish are most likely to be found. Silverfish eat paper, photographs, cardboard, and carpet. If you need to store your collectibles in your home, keep them in plastic bins in a closet, under the bed, or in a cedar chest.

When it comes to heirloom objects you treasure and want to pass on to your children and grandchildren, an ounce of your prevention now is worth a pound of frustrating and expensive repair attempts in the future.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Signature Statement Tyler Wentworth

We received our Signature Statement Tyler Wentworth from the Tonner Doll Company. This generous donation will be proudly displayed in our Modern and Collectible Dolls exhibit. As this is our first donated doll, we are very excited to show her off!