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How best to store items

Article about: Hi, I have recently been getting further into collecting and am trying to learn the ropes as far as proper storage and long term care of items goes. For starters, I currently have a collecti

  1. #1

    Default How best to store items


    I have recently been getting further into collecting and am trying to learn the ropes as far as proper storage and long term care of items goes. For starters, I currently have a collection of German medals, bayonets, hats and field gear. Should cardboard boxes be avoided? If so, what is recommended for the items that just get stored away and aren't on display? For my hats I have purchased both buffered and unbuffered acid free tissue paper to wrap them up in. Is this a good practice? Whenever I get a new dagger or bayonet, I have been cleaning them up, oiling them, and then wrapping them in wax paper. Does anyone have suggestions for storing edged weapons? Is it good to keep bayonet and sheath seperate? As far as medals, tinnies, coins etc. go, are there certain types of metals that should be kept seperately to avoid corrosion? I really am proud of and value my collection thus far and have been having a heck of a time finding definitive sources on how best to store these various items. I would really appreciate any suggestions or tricks anyone has.


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  3. #2

    Default Re: How best to store items

    Hi Nick, you raise a number of important points here.

    Looking after a collection correctly is very important, as after all, we are merely temporary custodians of these historical items.

    First off, I would be a bit concerned about the use of cardboard boxes, unless they were archival quality and acid free. Same with the use of any tissue paper. Here is a UK based website which sells museum quality storage solutions:

    Conservation By Design Limited - The Timecare Collection

    I would certainly advise against using oil on blades. This can cause lifting to any plating. Once you have cleaned an item use a museum grade wax, such as "Renwax", which can be bought from various places plus from the link above. Storage of blades is something collectors disagree about. Keeping them in a scabbard will protect it from knocks or scratches. But out of it does prevent any moisture from being created inside the scabbard due to temp changes which could affect the blade. Also taking it in and out a lot will create extra runner marks on the blade, but you would need to do this a lot to make it a big problem.

    I would certainly not store badges/medals touching one another. Zinc badges if they have any "zinc pest" on them has been known to cross infect according to some people.

    Light of course is a big problem. Don't allow caps uniforms etc to be in direct sunlight.

    Hope that has given you a few pointers?

    Cheers, Ade.

  4. #3

    Default Re: How best to store items

    Thanks to both of you for the pointers and info. I'll have to work on getting some renwax. After edged weapons have been cleaned and waxed, is it best to wrap them at all? As for the tissue paper I use, I have both buffered and unbuffered. It was explained to me that certain materials/fabrics require one or the other. I have been storing my wool items in unbuffered paper and for the time being have my flags in buffered paper as they are mostly cotton based. Speaking of flags, I read that it is best to keep them either fully flat or if that isn't possible, then rolled. I would like to keep them rolled as I don't have the space to keep them flat. Would those map/banner tubes listed on that site be best for that? Or what about the banner bags they offer on the site? I am just curious to see what you guys do and if you have any experience with flags. Also, as far as plastic bags and plastic containers go, should they be avoided for storing items? Can certain types of plastic boxes cause damage to cloth or paper items? I currently keep alot of my stuff in larger plastic containers for storage and wanted to know if I should avoid this. One last question I wanted to ask is if there is a US based website offering similar quality preservation items to the UK based company you provided me with above? I only ask because I am in the US.
    Thanks again for all your help!


  5. #4

    Default Re: How best to store items

    Microcrystalline WAX POLISH

    For over forty years, RENAISSANCE WAX-POLISH has been the #1 choice of museums, art galleries and institutions for the preservation of precious items. Professional conservators, retailers, restorers and private individuals throughout the world depend on RENAISSANCE WAX to protect their collections and for in home use.

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    the "Perfect Wax" was created:
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  6. #5

    Default Re: How best to store items

    Thanks for the thread, i learned alot! Will have to get my collection out of my cardboard box, did not know it contained acid!

  7. #6

    Default Re: How best to store items

    Great advice ! Thanks for all your time !

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