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Special user
Columbus, Ohio
871 Posts

Profile of MagiClyde
I have several playbills, cards, lecture notes and dvd's with magicians' signatures on them. What methods do you use to preserve these items for future generations or even your later years?
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
Kevin Connolly
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Inner circle
New Jersey
1329 Posts

Profile of Kevin Connolly
Keep them dry, in the dark and in some kind of barrier for the autoraphs, etc.
Please visit my website.

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email][/email]
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Special user
874 Posts

Profile of ScottRSullivan
Regarding the playbills, if there is nothing on the reverse side, you can have them mounted on canvas. This not only strengthens the thin paper since the canvas holds it together more, but it also reduces the breakdown of the paper itself, prolonging the length of the paper's life.

For playbills, you also will not be spending a ton of money to canvas mount them, compared to the larger posters.

Regarding the DVD's, if you really want to go through the trouble, and if they are valuable enough to you, you can frame them. Think along the lines of how record companies frame CDs along the halls of their studio. This way, you can see the DVD and the signature on it. Remove the case print (inside the case's sleeve) and have that mounted above or next to the DVD in the same frame.

Then cover it with a UV protected frosted glass. I have several posters with this glass and mine actually have a non-glare glass to cut down on reflections.

Whever you do with any of the items, make sure it is done in an 'archival' quality. For example, the canvas mounting will only help prolong the life of the paper, but someday we might have better technology to preserve it. Canvas mounting is fully reversable. Unlike spray mounting on a foamboard.

Speaking of reversable trivia, did you know that the good 'restoration' work done on lithos are done with colored pencils so that if anyone wanted to, they could 'undo' the restoration.

Good luck with your preservations. Magic has such a rich history and we are living in what will become history. Thank you for taking the time to preserve what you have. You will be so glad you did.

Warm regards,
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
17197 Posts

Profile of Father Photius
There is something called "conservative framing", where they frame and mat with acid free material and seal it in well to prevent dust. Also, because of matting, the surface does not touch glass. After you have it so framed you can store it where there is no direct sunlight, as this will badly fade them. I've got several things preserved that way, and it is great. Most custom framing places can do it, but be sure you explain you want it framed for conservation, so they use acid free material.
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Dave Dorsett
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Veteran user
Macomb, Illinois
345 Posts

Profile of Dave Dorsett
I get catalogs from a company called Light Impressions. They have archival paper, mats, and glass available in a large number of sizes and colors. Their Web site is-
Dave Dorsett
Douglas~Wayne Illusioneering
Victor Brisbin
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Elite user
Washington, DC
432 Posts

Profile of Victor Brisbin
Is there any hope for posters that were attached to foam board during my young, ignorant years? I have a dry mounted poster on foam core that I would dearly love to preserve. It wasn't mounted that skillfully to the board in the first place by the cretins at the shopping mall frame shop...could it be peeled or allowed to peel off its backing?

Thanks in advance to the conservation experts who can answer this for me.
"It is better to practice a little than talk a lot." - Muso Kokushi
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Inner circle
1724 Posts

Profile of jakeg
I have a lot of very old advertising, hand bills etc from famous and not so famous magicians. I'm moving in a few weeks and would like to sell off this collection. Who would you suggest that I contact? (I already sent several e-mails to Martinka, figuring that being in NJ I could shoot up there, but they didn't even give me the courtesy of an answer.)
Mike McErlain
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Regular user
Toronto & Green Cove Springs, FL
130 Posts

Profile of Mike McErlain
Acid free poster protectors are good. You can find them at architect supply stores. They're usually used for archiving blue prints.
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New user
68 Posts

Profile of martinka
Hi Jake,

I am sorry you were not able to get through. We are always interested collectible magic, we buy items outright or accept them as consignments for our auctions.

Our correct email is or please give our office a call at 201-444-7576 and someone would be happy to assist you.


"Buying & Selling Magic for over 100 Years"
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