Saving Stuff

How to Care for and Preserve Your Collectibles, Heirlooms, and Other Prized Possessions

Saving Stuff

The most comprehensive book on preserving every type of collectible -- from the sentimental to the valuable -- from the Smithsonian's Senior Conservator.
For both the serious collector and the sometimes sentimentalist, Saving Stuff explains -- in plain language -- how you can use the techniques of museum professionals to keep your prized possessions in mint condition.
You do not need deep pockets or oodles of time: using Don Williams's simple instructions, you can preserve anything quickly and inexpensively. In Saving Stuff, he demystifies preservation and presents easy, foolproof methods anyone can use to save nearly everything, including:
  • Photographs -- in print and digital form
  • Stuff only a parent could love -- from baby teeth to old blankets and first artworks
  • Furniture -- whether it's painted, varnished, or upholstered
  • Family heirlooms -- from silver to rugs to wedding dresses
  • Sports and political memorabilia -- trading cards, posters, equipment, buttons, stickers
  • Attic leftovers -- scrapbooks, military uniforms, medals
  • Musical instruments
  • Fine art -- oil paintings, etchings, lithographs
  • Printed matter -- comic books, magazines, old letters
  • And much, much more

With step-by-step instructions, detailed illustrations, tips for making the things you use every day last, and stories about how the Smithsonian takes care of our national treasures, Saving Stuff is the only book you need to take care of the stuff you love.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743264167 | 
  • June 2005

About the Authors

Don Williams
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Don Williams

Don Williams is Senior Conservator at the Smithsonian Institution. During his career, he has consulted on the preservation of such artifacts as Archie Bunker's chair and Franklin Roosevelt's desk. He has served as Education Coordinator of the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education and led conservation workshops throughout the country. Mr. Williams lives near Washington, D.C.

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Louisa Jaggar
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Louisa Jaggar

Louisa Jaggar has been a columnist for Washington Parent and has contributed articles to Diversion and the online site Family Travel Network. She has written for PBS and the University of Chicago, among others. She lives near Washington, D.C.

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