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Saving Stuff: How to Care for and Preserve Your Collectibles, Heirlooms, and Other Prized Possessions Paperback – June 2, 2005


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Saving Stuff: How to Care for and Preserve Your Collectibles, Heirlooms, and Other Prized Possessions + How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records + Preserving Your Family Photographs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (June 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743264169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743264167
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

"Saving Stuff provides a wealth of invaluable advice to anyone who wishes to care for, preserve, and display personal collections and family treasures."
-- Betty C. Monkman, Curator (Retired), The White House

"Don Williams has distilled years of research and museum experience into practical advice for anyone concerned with preserving a collection -- from the beginning collector to the connoisseur."
-- Joseph Godla, Senior Conservator, Historic New England

"I am someone to whom stuff is serious business, so Saving Stuff is indispensable. Luckily, it covers saving books, because one thing I know I'll always want to save is Saving Stuff itself."
-- Sam Posey, the author of Playing with Trains

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Great and easy to understand.
Margaret Rice
This book is written by Don Williams, the senior conservator of the Smithsonian Institution -- and therefore an authority on the best way to preserve stuff.
Christine D. Brings
A great reference for sure, and tells you where to buy the speciality items needed to properly store and care for your"stuff".
S. Whitten

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on July 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Smithsonian name (author is senior conservator there) ensures you're getting top quality advice. The instructions are detailed and straight forward, making this a great reference book. The boxed sections give Smithsonian stories of rescuing artifacts and also "Don's Tips" to supplement the text.

Browsing through this book, you'll find ways to take care of everything precious to you from your vintage comic books to Grandma's quilt to your tattered teddy bear.

The book helps you decide which of your items are worth keeping, and how to decide what should be given away or just junked. It gives advice for saving photographs and films and how to save toys. It covers preservation of furniture, fine art, musical instruments, textiles, sports and political memorabilia, and coins and stamps. If it is books, comic books or newspapers you want to save, it gives advice for that as well.

I find this topic fascinating and have created my own web page about saving World War II letters.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Austin T. Bechtold on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a lover of auctions and yard sales, I have found some great furniture and old prints that needed some restorative attention. I often used traditional cleaning methods, thinking I was doing just fine. This book keeps you from making good-intentioned destructive "repairs" to your potential treasures. The author's experience at the Smithsonian and the other great enclave of American arts restoration, Winterthur, should convince readers that this guy knows his stuff! I like diagrams and how-to photos to reassure me that I am doing things right. The lack of these is my only criticism.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By G. Wilfong on August 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Saving Stuff has excellent advice by the senior curator of the Smithsonian Institiute on how to care for collectables and heirlooms. It is written in a very readable, chatty way and can be used as reference without having to read the entire book but I'm glad I'm reading the whole thing, anyway. Often, he will tell you several ways of preserving an item, depending on how much effort or expense you wish to go to. I initially bought this for the genealogical collection for our local library but may buy myself a copy as well.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alan G. Elze on January 28, 2006
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"The most comprehensive book on preserving every type of collectible..." Don Williams, Senior Conservator of the Smithsonian Institution, has written a concise volume dealing with how to preserve everything from baseball cards to furniture. Easy to understand preservation practices. No hard to understand museum jargon. An excellent work for anyone who collects anything or the small museum.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By R. F. Benson on August 19, 2005
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If you're a collector or just a hoarder, this book will provide you with everything you need to know to both rescue and protect your treasures. From great-garandmother's crocheted popcorn stitch bedspread to that newspaper with the story of the Hindenburg disaster, learn how to treat them in the best possible way using commonplace tools and materials. Worth every penny!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Whitten on August 7, 2005
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This will tell you what you need to know in order to preserve family items as well as how to decide which of those items are important enough to preserve....."importance" is in the eye of the person using this book. A great reference for sure, and tells you where to buy the speciality items needed to properly store and care for your"stuff". Love it.

CSAWGEN
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Wilson on June 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
The anecdotes make the otherwise somewhat tedious technical information come alive! I plan to keep one on my shelf and have a supply to give as wedding/baby/new home gifts. We all need this information at one time or another. Thanks Louisa and Don for making it easy to find AND easy to read/understand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By V. mac on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The graphical promise of the cover does not translate to the inside of the book; illustrations would have been very helpful.
I also would have liked more specifics in the area of cleaning things.... but the Do/don't organization is helpful and there is a lot of valuable information about taking care of your treasures, from a person who apparently has been charged with taking care of some of the world's treasures...
If you need a book that covers caring for a wide variety of items, this is a great general reference.
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