Maps have been used for navigation for centuries. Even though navigation apps on our phones have made printed maps obsolete, the latter still holds special significance in the greater human history and its cultural and social evolution. Today, vintage maps are deemed as prized collectibles with collectors, artists and historians clamoring to get their hands on authentic pieces.
If you are an antique aficionado, then you would know that preserving them takes some effort, and antique maps are no different. You need to take care of them properly to ensure that they remain in good condition. And that includes avoiding these things:
1. Never use ordinary tape to repair tears
It is easy to be tempted to quickly fix a small tear on our antique maps with scotch tape or any ordinary tape, but that can damage your precious possession. Instead, use a special tape that is known as document repair tape. It is acid-free, thin and when varnished, effectively disappears.
2. Never remove stains on the map using regular erasers
Vintage maps usually have ink engravings on them, which can be removed if rubbed by an eraser. You can, instead, use a Document Cleaning Pad, which is a great tool for removing marks and stains off sensitive documents such as antique maps. It is non-abrasive and contains a soft powder that works to absorb dust and fingerprints.
3. Never roll them tightly
Rolling the maps tightly can damage them because it strains the delicate paper fibers. You must store them in clear, polyester bags that are made for archival purposes and lay them flat in a drawer or cabinet. If you have plans for long-term storage, consider getting a cabinet that is specifically made to store artwork.
4. Never handle with bare hands
Unless you want your fingers to leave smudges all over your map, always wear gloves when you handle it. Get some cheap cotton gloves for this purpose.
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