Storing Small Objects & Collectibles | Alternative Acid-Free Collection Solutions


Storing Small Objects & Collectibles

Alternative Acid-Free Collection Solutions



What Do Trains / Old Pocket Watches / Rat Finks / The Titanic / Old Cigarette Lighters / 
and Just About Any Other Small Family Heirloom, Artifact, or Collectible Have in Common
with 35mm Slides?

Read On!



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Baldwin 60000 locomotive engine being added to the collection
of The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA, on September 22, 1933.
Image credit: The Franklin Institute
(Please click on either image for more information.)



The other day I was prepping a post on the Archival Methods Twitter feed (you should follow us!) and I noticed a tweet regarding The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia that included the two photographs above.

Wow, I thought, just HOW does one tackle the archival preservation of a zillion-ton locomotive???

Well, I’m not qualified to answer that question, but it made me remember that HEY, I myself have a train that needs to be preserved!



storing small objectsYup.



My dad gave me this model train locomotive back in the late 1960s.

I’ve kept this sentimental model train engine for all the intervening years wrapped in a decidedly non-archival paper towel somewhere in the attics of the various homes I’ve lived in since.

Well, NOW I have the PERFECT way to archivally store it!

Yup, in an acid-free box originally designed to hold 35mm slides is the perfect solution for storing small objects!



  storing small objects     storing small objects  
Designed as the 35mm Slide Storage System, this kit is a PERFECT “alternative” archival solution for storing small objects!
Note that the train in the right-hand image has been placed in a protective Polyethylene Bag, while the
included Slide Bins (see below) will fill in the empty space in the front of the Slide Tray box that holds this model.
(Please click on either image for more information.)



And that is how this blog on the many “alternative” uses of this Archival Methods product came to be.





35mm Slides: A (VERY BRIEF!) History of Treasured Heirlooms



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Individual 35mm slides on the left, and hundreds of slides in old-school slide trays on the right.
(Please click on either image to see our blog on Preserving 35mm Slides.)



Before I go into the many “alternative” uses of Archival Methods’ 35mm Slide Storage System for storing small objects, a quick review of  just what it was ACTUALLY designed for.

Like model train setups that were popular in the mid-20th century, 35mm slides could be found in many households of the same period. 


storing small objectsWhile THIS isn’t coming back anytime soon, the 35mm slides in your family archive
are irreplaceable treasures! Go find them & protect them (and PRINT the best ones!).



While the once-popular ritual of setting up the family slide projector for a slide show of vacation pictures and such has fallen by the wayside (see pix above), the IMAGES contained in these small 2 x 2-inch treasures are IRREPLACEABLE, and often contain the ONLY images of certain people, places and events that are all part of family history (see pix below).



storing small objects35mm slides from my immediate family – clockwise from the top:
1. my dad in Bermuda on his honeymoon
2. me as a long-haired mid-1970s teen 
3. my sister as a baby on dad’s lap in 1956
4. my old man and his beloved boat.
These are the ONLY photographic records of these moments, so they MUST be archivally preserved!
(Please click on the image to see our fully-illustrated blog on Preserving 35mm Slides.)



For this reason, old 35mm slides should NEVER be thrown out! They should be looked through, the best ones printed, & then ALL OF THEM should be archivally stored in compact & easy-to-use kits such as our 35mm Slide Storage System.



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Available in tan or black to match your tastes & decor, this compact slide storage kit will hold up to 1,200 individual 35mm slides.
(Please click on either image for more information.)



Just as it’s name suggests, this all-in-one kit is a system of integrated acid-free boxes and slide bins that will archivally protect & organize your 35mm slides for generations to come.

It’s truly a great kit, as it is PERFECTLY designed to organize & protect your irreplaceable slides, but that’s not all…

…in fact, that’s not even the HALF of it!!!






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Right-Hand Image, Clockwise (no pun intended) from the Top:  35mm Slide Storage System box /
Slide Tray holding Slide Bins / Cotton Inspection Gloves / a family wrist watch & pocket watch /
another pocket watch resting on a 5 x 7″ sheet of acid-free Archival Tissue before being wrapped /
two Slide Bins holding wrapped pocket watches ready for both easy access AND long-term storage.

(Please click on each highlighted link for more information.)



Here is a PERFECT example of an “alternative” use of the 35mm Slide Storage System for storing small objects, in this case it’s being used to protect & organize a collection of old pocket & wrist watches.

While these watches are individually wrapped in Archival Tissue before being placed in their respective Slide Bins (see pix above), they can also be placed in archivally-safe see-thru HD Poly Envelopes for easy identification (see pix below).



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(Please click on each image for more information.)



The same holds true for all sorts of other collectibles, such as…



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Old cigarette lighters from the 1940s, when these things were “a thing,” fit well in the versatile 35mm Slide Storage System.
(A word of caution: if you’re storing old lighters MAKE SURE they DO NOT contain
any old lighter fluid or fuel! Most collectors already know this, but it bears repeating.)
(Please click on each image for more information.)




storing small objects

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If you’re going to safely store locomotives, you should also be able to store ocean liners!
Lower Image on Left: the Titanic model surround with Shredded Archival Tissue.
Lower Image on Right: The same model wrapped in Archival Tissue.
(Please click on each image for more information,
and click here for our blog on Archival Preservation: Titanic Collections.)



All these varied examples of family heirlooms & small collectibles that fit into the 35mm Slide Storage System are merely the tip of the iceberg (no Titanic pun intended), as the list of different types of artifacts & objects that are perfectly suited for “alternative” storage in this all-in-one kit is truly endless:


small fossils / political buttons / old Crackerjack prizes / marbles / coins or stamps in their protective enclosures / Grandma’s thimble collection / matchbook cover collections / seashells / geology specimens / costume jewelry /
all the miscellaneous small junque you otherwise don’t know what to do with / the list goes on & on (& on!)….


With this said, I’d like to show two more examples of storing small objects from my own personal life that are being archivally preserved—as I write this—in these kits. One is sort of goofy in its own strange way, and the other is rather touching, as follows:



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If you were a guy growing up in the 1960s you knew EXACTLY what these things were – yup, they’re Rat Finks.
Back in the day we all collected these things, and they were important enough to my childhood development that I
kept them. This being the case, these small absurdist counter-culture icons deserve only the BEST in archival care!
(Please click on either image for more information.)



Lastly—and without the silliness of my treasured Rat Fink collection—there’s this:



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These are my daughter’s first pair of baby shoes. I can’t tell you how much these mean to me! She’s in her 20-somethings now,
and off on the other side of the continent getting her PhD. I couldn’t be more proud of her, and I couldn’t be more interested in
MAKING SURE that these precious family heirlooms stay archivally safe and well protected. Of all the “alternative” uses for the
35mm Slide Storage System mentioned above, THIS use is the BEST, in my humble opinion (Rat Finks notwithstanding)!



So, all of us here at Archival Methods hope this blog will inspire you to dream up YOUR OWN “alternative” use of this dynamic and 100% archival kit for storing small objects!

And in closing, if you have EVEN MORE to store in this “alternative” sort of way, then consider our 35mm – 2400 Slide Storage Kit (see pix below), as it will hold TWICE the amount of stuff in one convenient box!



storing small objects






storing small objects


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