MGHL at NARA’s Preservation Road Show

This week from July 10-12, the National Archives in St. Louis is hosting a Preservation Road Show. This event is free and open to the public and will include workshops, demonstrations, and a panel discussion all aimed at providing instruction and techniques to help you preserve your family or personal items, such as scrapbooks, photos, home movies, and the like. The Modern Graphic History Library will have a table on Thursday the 12th with information on preserving artwork and comic books. Check the flyer below for more details.

Preservation flyer

Because artwork can be particularly challenging to preserve, we wanted to share a few tips for dealing with acrylic paintings, which many people have at home:

  • The soft paint of acrylic paintings attracts and holds dirt, making works susceptible to damage. To clean, place the painting on a padded surface and hold upright at an angle so the dust will fall away from the piece. Then, using a clean, soft, natural-hair artists’ brush, lightly dust the painting’s surface (if there is no visible flaking).
  • Store paintings in a cool place, and away from direct sunlight and dust. Avoid hanging art over a fireplace.

If you can’t attend the event but are interested in learning more about the care, handling, and storage your personal collection, check out the Library of Congress page about preserving family treasures, the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works page on caring for your artwork, and the @ Your Library page about preserving comic books.

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.