Stripped Covers: If you're going to collect matchcovers
(no matches), which is the way the vast majority of collectors
go, care is pretty easy and practical.
Ultimately, the covers
normally go into 3-ring binders with plastic pages (see supplies), but if they need to be temporarily stacked, use
paper wrappers rather than rubber bands. The latter cut into
the top and bottom covers and will eventually bond with the cover
surface over time.
- Once the matches have
been removed, with no damage to the cover, the covers have to
be flattened. Any substantial weight on them for several days
will do the trick. I've put a stack of 50 between two small,
flat pieces of wood and left it in a vise. A few days later,
Wherever they go, keep
them away from water and high humidity
- If the covers aren't going
into albums, some collectors house them in trays, which will
hold them on their sides, are space efficient, and maintain their
flatness. They tend to get banged up if they're simply loose
- - Don't keep them on floors
(possibility of flood damage)
- - Don't keep them in garages,
basements, etc. where there would be high humidity (i.e. storing
them in a garage in North Carolina is probably not a good idea!)
(Humidity causes mold and often causes the striker material to
deteriorate...taking the top of the cover with it!)
- - Never keep covers in
direct sunlight or unusually strong light for extended period
of time. The colors will fade.
- Matchbooks: If you're going to keep the matchbooks
intact (matches remain inside), all of the above cautions apply,
plus you now have the very big worry about fire...which
is why most collectors don't collect full-books (not to mention
the hugely increased storage space problem, bulkiness, and the
dearth of other collectors to trade with. But, if you insist...
It's pretty tough to mount
full-books in albums (too bulky). You can put full-books
into the plastic page sleeves, but, aside from the bulkiness,
you'd have to worry about crushing.
- Match + friction = fire!
So...fullbooks need to be stored so that they are not loose,
and there is no room for movement or matches rubbing against
each other...or anything else. Packed trays are good here.
I wouldn't mention this
to your home insurance agent, either!
- Obviously, keep away from
children and pets.