Preserving Antique Prints, Maps, Books and other Antique Paperworks

Here are some basic rules that we follow in order to assure the optimal preservation of all of our antique works on paper.

-  Handling  -

It’s best to be sure that your hands are clean and freshly washed so as not to be too oily while handling the prints.  If the piece is especially delicate you may want to consider wearing soft white cotton gloves.  Be wary of what you have around while handling the prints.  Be sure that there aren’t any sharp objects, liquids, or windows open on windy days that could damage the print accidentally.  Be careful that the frame doesn’t have any sharp pieces on its back either. Don’t use paper clips on them.  Don’t use regular adhesive tape opt for archival tape instead.  

-  Light Exposure  -

It’s best to use UV light filtering glass when framing your prints to protect them from the sunlight.  Consider where you’re hanging them so that light exposure doesn’t cause them to lose their brilliance.  Try to keep them out of direct sunlight.

-  Humidity  -

It’s best to store your prints at a cool temperature, preferably under 72 degrees F.  Try not to keep them in your attic or the trunk of your car.  It’s good to use a dehumidifier, especially in very humid places since humidity can cause mould, mildew and foxing (rust coloured spots) very easily.  Try not to keep them on the floor of a damp basement where water damage can be a problem.

-  Acidity  -

Only use acid-free paper, matting, hinging and storage materials with your prints.  Acidity causes paper to brittle and to deteriorate.  It’s better not to keep them in an acidic tube after mailing; the acidity will not only brittle the paper but maintain the curl more as well.


-  Storage  -

It’s best to keep prints flat.  The more they are curled the more they will stay that way.  The ideal place to store prints is in an acid-free flat storage box or Solander box (a book-form case) with acid-free paper between the prints.  Keep them separate from newspaper clippings since those are made on extremely acidic paper, which could damage your prints.