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Caring for Your Family Treasures

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A team of top museum professionals, assembled by the nonprofit group Heritage Preservation, provide practical advice and easy-to-use guidelines on:

  • how to polish silver and furniture without diminishing their value
  • how to preserve a wedding dress for future generations
  • the safest materials and procedures for creating a scrapbook that will last
  • how to care for a photograph album that is deteriorating
  • creating safe display conditions for ceramics, dolls, quilts, or other treasured collections, and much more.

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We live in an era of fascination with mementos of the past. Countless television viewers tune in faithfully to popular programs such as The Antiques Roadshow to enjoy the vicarious thrill of learning that a grandparent’s painting, stored for years in the attic, is an important work of folk art, or that a much-loved doll has become a valuable antique. Just as often, however, observers have sympathized with the unfortunate folks who unknowingly destroyed the value of a brass lamp or a bronze medal by polishing away the original patina. Such disappointments underscore the need for clear and understandable information on how to care for beloved family treasures.

That need is answered in this book, a concise guide to caring for objects of great value, whether sentimental or monetary—from father’s photograph albums and home-movie collections to mother’s prized holiday ornaments and favorite candlesticks to Aunt Dora’s heirloom quilts. Authors Jane and Richard Long, working with a team of museum experts assembled by the nonprofit group Heritage Preservation, provide practical advice and easy-to-use guidelines on how to polish silver and furniture without diminishing their value; how to preserve a wedding dress for future generations; to the safest materials and procedures for creating a scrapbook that will last; caring for a photograph album that is deteriorating; creating display conditions for ceramics, dolls, or other treasured collections, and much more.

The authors discuss care and maintenance of objects for daily use as well as preservation of more fragile objects. Their text is complemented by many full-color illustrations as well as special information boxes and checklists for each category of treasure. The book also includes tips on locating genealogical information, archival supplies, and other resources, making it a valuable and handy reference for years to come.

Includes 160 illustrations, including 150 in full color.

Published by Harry Abrams, Inc.

PRICES
Members
$18
Nonmembers
$24.95

About the Authors
Jane S. Long is Director of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force as well as a consultant for Heritage Preservation and the Getty Conservation Institute. She has coordinated special projects for the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, staffed the National Committee to Save America’s Cultural Collections, and served as executive director of the Foundation for Public Affairs.

Richard W. Long, a writer and consultant, has managed research programs for the Commission on the Operation of the Senate, the Brookings Institution, the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Heritage Preservation.