Learn how to properly store and maintain sports memorabilia, whether it's your grandfather's baseball card collection or your own jersey.
- Handle vintage leather with care.
Avoid using oils or lotions to clean. Also, do not use oil or other treatments to revitalise the leather. The additive is forced back to the glove's surface, resulting in "spew," which has a white, mould-like look. Wear white cotton gloves and use a gentle brush or cloth to clean surface dirt—oils from hands and fingerprints can leave lasting stains on objects. Allow to dry away from sunshine or heat sources, then apply a leather conditioner devoid of wax and silicone using a soft cloth.
- Store leather with care.
In general, avoid stacking gloves, as one can crush the other. Keep them flat in a box or rolled and wrapped in acid-free tissue. If a glove has been in a game, it is advisable to find a form of storage where gloves can be laid flat.
- Store display cases in a safe place.
Display cases are sometimes knocked over, especially if placed along a wall or against furniture. If a case has been knocked over, take care to put it on a level, sturdy surface and check to see that all of the pieces are in place—if not, the case may be damaged or not airtight.
- Handle newspapers carefully
Try to avoid touching the ink on old newspapers to avoid smearing. If the newspaper is original and in good condition, leave it alone. Also, avoid putting newspapers on top of each other or stuffing them into a box. Newspapers should be kept flat in acid-free tissue and placed in a box or shelf in a cool, dry, dark place.
- Keep jerseys framed
These large shirts might be challenging to frame archivally beneath glass. With acid-free materials and UV-filtering acrylic glass, museum-style frame kits make the exhibition simple. Look for frames with acid-free backing, a durable archival hanger, and UV glass or acrylic protection. Keep your framed textile out of direct sunlight, heat, and moisture. Be sure to leave room around the fabric for air to circulate. Use acid-free tissue paper to re-stabilise the jersey before framing.
- Store single-signed baseballs properly.
Stuffing balls into a shoebox or wrapping them in paper towels exposes them to damage. Storage boxes with clear tops have proven to be effective. These boxes have an airtight seal and allow viewing of the ball.
- Preserve signatures correctly
If you have an autographed baseball, pennant, or football jersey, you may want to exhibit it, but we don't suggest it. If signatures are exposed to light, they will fade. It is preferable to keep the object in an acid-free archival box and bring it out only on special occasions. To avoid transmitting oils from your skin, wash your hands well before handling or use cotton or nitrile gloves.
- Clean wooden bats gently.
On wooden bats, avoid applying polishes, waxes, or cleaners. Instead, a soft cloth should be used to remove dust and loose dirt. Handling with bare hands is not recommended. Archival providers create long, thin cases specifically for collector baseball bats, which can be stored loosely wrapped in polyester craft batting.
Sports collectors have several options to preserve their items. With some thought and care, you can preserve your treasures for the next generation of fans.
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