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"We know we cannot keep everything," says Heritage Preservation President Lawrence L. Reger, "and deciding what to keep is not easy. In the end, the things we choose to hold onto become that more precious to us, and it is important that we care for them properly." Caring for Your Family Treasures includes sections on books, scrapbooks and albums, photographs, home movies (film and video), paintings, fabrics, furniture, silver, jewelry, ceramics, musical instruments, and dolls and stuffed animals. In addition, there are chapters on how to recognize agents of deterioration, how to combat them, and where to go for help (both professional and do-it-yourself).
Caring for Your Family Treasures is thorough, well written, and filled with over 150 color photographs. The authors explain in detail how to recognize organic and inorganic materials and the best way to care for them (our favorite tips: never put a rubber band around a book--it'll eat into the often fragile pages; and never use magnetized photo albums as they discolor and the photos may rip if you try to remove them). This is a book for the serious conservator who is willing to spend time and money safeguarding his or her treasures. Follow their advice and your great-grandchildren will still be enjoying that antique oil painting. --Dana Van Nest