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Preservation office

The Preservation Department focuses on the preservation, rehousing, conservation and exhibit preparation of the National Postal Museum’s collection and loan objects. They work with both philately and postal operation objects ranging in sizes from a postage stamp to a train car.

A preservation worker labeling folders

Preserving Your Letters and Documents

Trying to care for family treasures can seem overwhelming. Here are some simple steps on how to properly care for collections of letters, postcards and important documents. These standards can also be applied to philatelic cover collections.

Museum staff measuring a paper object on a plastic board

Choosing Safe Plastics

When choosing plastic enclosures for storing or displaying a collection, be sure to select one that is “archival” or conservation approved. This article will help explain what to look for, especially for philatelic collections.

Preservation worker looking at a small painting under a lamp

Flattening Folded or Rolled Documents

Learn how to flatten folded and rolled documents using a humidification chamber. This method allows the fibers to slowly relax which prevent them from breaking and tearing.

An Agents of Deterioration presentation in a museum gallery

Agents of Deterioration

The 10 Agents of Deterioration are the primary threats to any collection at a museum and at home. By focusing on preventing these 10 agents, it is possible to extend the life of the artifacts significantly.

Museum staff measuring a crate in a storage room

Preservation Projects

Read about projects completed by the Preservation staff. Return periodically to learn about new projects.

Museum staff putting an object into a storage box

Preservation Resources

Preservation and conservation resources compiled by National Postal Museum’s Preservation Staff.

Preservation staff describing an ink solubility test

Artifact Preservation Videos

A playlist of videos compiled by the Preservation staff.