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How to Keep Autographs From Fading

From the scribblings of a beloved baseball hero to a hot celebrity, autographs are a tangible connection between superstardom and the common people. To keep a precious autograph looking as fresh and clear as it did the day it was signed, take steps to ensure the autograph will not fade.

Keep the paper out of the sun and away from any ultraviolet rays. These harmful rays can break down the paper and cause oxidation, both in the ink and the paper.

Avoid excess humidity. Especially if the climate is humid, keep the autograph in an airtight box or container.

Always use lint-free photography gloves when handling the autograph. The oils from your hands can break down ink and paper over time, so putting a barrier between the paper and your fingertips will keep the autograph intact longer.

Purchase a buffer board to keep the autograph on. These are treated with an alkaline layer that neutralizes the acids in most papers. Baseball card collectors and comic book collectors also use these to keep their collectibles safe.

Check with a document restoration specialist for permanent methods of safekeeping. In larger cities, there are independent businesses that provide these services, or you can check with the local university's library and their documentation specialist. There are methods that allow for permanent display that won't cause further harm to the autograph.

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