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How to Protect Autographs from Fading or Deteriorating

Updated March 23, 2017

There is an old saying: "nothing lasts forever". If you have witnessed a once valuable autographed baseball reduced to near worthlessness because of a barely visible signature, then you understand. Considering the time and expense that goes into collecting autographed memorabilia, it's no surprise that collectors want to keep their cherished signatures as pristine as possible. To keep autographs from fading or deteriorating a collector needs to consider the medium used, having proper lighting and using proper storage methods.

Determine the best inks and fibre papers to use when attempting to maximise the life of autographed memorabilia. Permanent markers and high-quality inks are best for signed materials. Acid-free paper is not only archival quality, but tends to retain its original hues over time.

Place the autographed item in a dark place, away from direct sunlight or ultra violet rays. Sunlight causes oxidation that breaks down paper fibres and ink. Storage in a dark closet or storage chest reduces deterioration.

Keep the autographed item in a climate-controlled atmosphere that is not too humid or dry. An airtight container will allow the ink to retain it viscosity and colour.

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About the Author

Gary Wright is a working attorney in the Cleveland Ohio area. He has written on a professional freelance basis since 2005 and has a passion for public records. Wright is a graduate of Cleveland State University and the Marshall College of Law.