Saving Stuff: How to Care for and Preserve Your Collectibles, Heirlooms, and Other Prized Possessions

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9780743264167: Saving Stuff: How to Care for and Preserve Your Collectibles, Heirlooms, and Other Prized Possessions

The most comprehensive book on preserving every type of collectible -- from the sentimental to the valuable -- from the Smithsonian's Senior Conservator.
For both the serious collector and the sometimes sentimentalist, Saving Stuff explains -- in plain language -- how you can use the techniques of museum professionals to keep your prized possessions in mint condition.
You do not need deep pockets or oodles of time: using Don Williams's simple instructions, you can preserve anything quickly and inexpensively. In Saving Stuff, he demystifies preservation and presents easy, foolproof methods anyone can use to save nearly everything, including:

  • Photographs -- in print and digital form
  • Stuff only a parent could love -- from baby teeth to old blankets and first artworks
  • Furniture -- whether it's painted, varnished, or upholstered
  • Family heirlooms -- from silver to rugs to wedding dresses
  • Sports and political memorabilia -- trading cards, posters, equipment, buttons, stickers
  • Attic leftovers -- scrapbooks, military uniforms, medals
  • Musical instruments
  • Fine art -- oil paintings, etchings, lithographs
  • Printed matter -- comic books, magazines, old letters
  • And much, much more

With step-by-step instructions, detailed illustrations, tips for making the things you use every day last, and stories about how the Smithsonian takes care of our national treasures, Saving Stuff is the only book you need to take care of the stuff you love.

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About the Author:

Don Williams is Senior Conservator at the Smithsonian Institution. During his career, he has consulted on the preservation of such artifacts as Archie Bunker's chair and Franklin Roosevelt's desk. He has served as Education Coordinator of the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education and led conservation workshops throughout the country. Mr. Williams lives near Washington, D.C.

Louisa Jaggar has been a columnist for Washington Parent and has contributed articles to Diversion and the online site Family Travel Network. She has written for PBS and the University of Chicago, among others. She lives near Washington, D.C.

From Publishers Weekly:

From a fragile antique quilt to a child's macaroni artwork, this book offers expert advice on saving those priceless objects from entropy for the "museum of you." Williams, senior conservator at the Smithsonian Institute, shares his extensive knowledge on the art of preservation, offering at-home techniques for battling damage from light, humidity, rodents and other pests, like careless friends and family members. Divided into easily navigable chapters, the book offers step-by-step guidelines, lists of supplies needed and numerous rules for preserving everything from "family treasures" to "really valuable stuff," with specifics on caring for objects including record players, political memorabilia, fine art, vintage clothing and more. Sidebars detail tips (e.g. how to turn the pages of a vintage book), bust myths (don't store silver in plastic wrap-it'll cause tarnish) and offer "Smithsonian Stories," quirky anecdotes about the Institution's collection. Peppered with personal stories by Jaggar, an amateur collector, about her past maintenance mess-ups, the book is written in clear, concise language that explains these professional techniques to any reader looking to safeguard his loot.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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