Re: Scouting memorabilia
Mark Arend (arend@PEOPLES.NET)
Wed, 9 Jul 1997 11:43:37 -0500
At 11:36 PM 7/8/97 -0400, you wrote:
> I would like to know your thoughts on what reference materials are
>available to help him date and place the equipment that he is piling up.
House of Collectibles publishing company put out an annual "Official price
guide to Scouting collectibles" in the early-mid-80s. I don't know if
they're still publishing it. They do a lot of this kind of book and they're
generally OK. Check at your local library. Also there are several Scouting
museums out there. There's the big one in Kentucky but some Council's have
them as well (Milwaukee has a nice one).
>Also, is there a source of information that would give a basic idea of the
>history and ins and outs of patch collecting
I can't give too much advice except to talk to other collectors and see what
they have to say. Talk to several so if there's one bad apple others will
contradict him. I look at prices of some of this stuff and I find it
incredible that a 50 cent patch is now worth hundreds, but that's another
> Also, what is the best method for preserving the condition of books and
A short lesson: most paper is made from wood pulp which is acidic--the
cheaper the paper the more acid in it. Light & heat cause the acid to decay
the paper; it yellows & turns brittle. This is why a newspaper left in the
sun starts to yellow within a few days.
Keep books at a fairly steady temperature/humidity (out of the attic &
cellar) and out of bright light (fluroscent is worse than incandescent
because it has more UV light). Unless you're talking about very valuable
materials or you live in a very humid climate household conditions are ok.
Actually books like it somewhat cooler & dryer than people do but you don't
find that out of a rare book room. Some people say wrap in plastic but I
disagree. Lots of plastics are slightly acidic; over time it makes a
difference. Also plastic seals in moisture, etc.. Valuable books can be
wrapped in acid-free paper to keep the dust out but then you can't see them;
and I like to see what I have. Take out any extra stuff that may have been
put in the book; other papers, cards, flowers, etc.; often these are more
acidic or chemically react with the paper. Never laminate papers papers or
cards because the chemicals in the film are bad for them. Watch out for
bugs; lots like to eat the papers/pastes/glues that make up books.
There are sources for acid-free plastics & papers out there. University
Products is good. If you live near a sizeable library ask there for books
on preserving papers & books; they should have something. They may also
have a University Products catalog; the desk staff may not know about it but
their cataloger or technical processing person would know. If you have a
hand bookbinder in the area or a really large library/museum with a rare
book department they would be the ones to talk to.
For uniforms I'd say talk to someone in a museum who handles fabrics.
There's a whole host of other issues there, in addition to many of the same
problems that papers have. I know that sag and stretch are problems. I
think that museums wrap their clothing in acid free tissue for storage.
Mark W. Arend
Beaver Dam Community Library
311 N. Spring St. Outside of a dog, a book is
Beaver Dam, Wisc. 53916 man's best friend. Inside of
(414) 887-4631 (fax 887-4633) a dog it's too dark to read.
Scoutmaster, Troop 736
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City