Owning an original piece of history is an exhilarating experience. To touch a document created by a famous figure from the past makes you part of that document’s history and also a part of its preservation. So do not feel like you can only handle history with white gloves. Make sure your hands are not oily, touch the fringes of the document where less writing is present, avoid direct sunlight for periods of time longer than 1 hour, and avoid exposure to water or excessive humidity. Keep in mind that although they are much younger, 20th century letters contain higher acid concentrations and therefore deteriorate much faster when not properly cared for.
Storing and displaying your autographs
Care needs to be taken to ensure proper buffered, acid-free environments. You can learn more about the steps we advise in safely displaying and presenting your historical documents.
Lending your documents
Many collectors choose to loan their documents. Should you be one of them, you have options. The process of historical preservation in the United States is a democratic one, and collectors play an important part in passing down our nation’s legacy to the next generation. They are also lenders to some of our most storied institutions and national exhibitions. The Raab Collection facilitates this process, which involves not only identifying pieces of sufficient importance but also coordinating loans with existing or planned exhibitions. We have worked in recent years with many major institutions, among them the National Constitution Center, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, and the National Museum of American Jewish History, a Smithsonian Affiliate.
Just as you would insure your wedding ring or other valuables, so should you insure an autograph collection as it grows. This typically involves a rider to your existing homeowners or renters policy. Consult your insurance carrier for more information.