A number of you have asked us for advice concerning proper archival methods of displaying, storing and preserving your dolls and other precious collectibles.
Dolls should be kept in a cool, dark environment. (Never in basements or attics!). Avoid excessive or fluctuating heat and humidity. Exposure to high heat and atmospheric pollutants increases
the rate of chemical degradation. High humidity promotes the growth of mold and mildew. An environment with 45-50%
relative humidity and a temperature range of 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit is considered ideal.
Keep dolls out of direct sunlight. UV filters will screen out harmful ultraviolet rays from natural light and from fluorescent light sources. They are an absolute necessity if you wish to light your doll cases with fluorescent bulbs. In general, darker is better, as all light tends to fade fabric & paints over time.
If you want to display your dolls in wood cases, make sure the wood is well sealed with at least three coats of polyurethane or paint to ensure that no acid migration will go from the wood to your dolls. Glass or plexiglass shelves are safer (more inert) than wood shelving, especially if the doll's clothing touches the shelf. DO NOT CRAM YOUR DOLLS IN THEIR CASE.
Air should be able to circulate around each item. Some of you think it looks nifty to display your Mint In Box dolls in their original boxes in your glassed-in cases.
THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DAMAGING THING TO DO!
Paper products, such as doll boxes, contain lignin and alum rosin which form damaging acids as they age and break down over time.
Under prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light and oxygen, this causes fibers to discolor & grow brittle (acid damage). If you seal your dolls in a dust-free case with paper & boxes, you are literally bathing them in an acid bath of deteriorating
paper. THE TIGHTER THE CASE THE MORE IMPORTANT IT BECOMES TO USE ONLY ACID-FREE MATERIALS. Old Effanbee and Arranbee boxes are especially high in acid content and should NEVER be kept with the doll.
Please try to remember that none of us really own these wonderful dolls....we are merely their custodians for future generations.
Try to treat them as you would any rare and fragile item.