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Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate: Consuming the World 
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Coffee, tea, and chocolate were all the rage in Enlightenment Europe. These fashionable beverages profoundly shaped modes of sociability and patterns of consumption, yet none of the plants required for their preparation was native to the continent: coffee was imported from the Levant, tea from Asia, and chocolate from Mesoamerica. Their introduction to 17th-century Europe revolutionized drinking habits and social customs. It also spurred an insatiable demand for specialized vessels such as hot beverage services and tea canisters, coffee cups and chocolate pots.
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Rococo Coffee Pot

Storing and Handling Art Posters
by Bob Brooke


Unlike the posters produced for rock concerts and political campaigns, art posters, while promoting an event or cause, are also works of art. Beginning with the first art poster created by Jules Chťret in 1887 up to the ones produced by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) in the 1930s and those produced for circuses around the world up to the 1950s, the span of styles and purposes is amazing. But keeping these art posters safe and secure can be a challenge, as many of the earlier ones are worth a small fortune.

While art posters are meant to be displayed on a wall, as early ones were, itís impractical to display an entire collection. No one has that much wall space. Serious poster collectors store their posters in safer, less exposed places in order to better preserve them so that they retain their value. There are several ways to store posters, depending on space and budget.

The cardinal rule for storing posters of any kind is to choose a place free of moisture year round. This lets attics and basements out. So the only place is somewhere within a home that has a constant temperature and no light. The storage area should also be clean and free from pests like insects and mice.

There are two ways to store art postersóflat in portfolios and rolled up in tubes. It goes without saying that valuable ones should be stored flat. Before storing either way, itís important to decide if the collection will be rotated or part of it kept in storage. Before preparing posters for storage, separate those that will be rotated from those what will remain stored.

Posters should be cleaned before storing them, removing any dirt, sticky residue or pieces of old tape from them. This will stop any contaminants damaging them once theyíre stored. But do not use cleaning products containing chemicals which might also damage them. Use a clean, soft cotton cloth to gently wipe them.

Flat Storage
Serious collectors prefer to store their posters in art portfolios, available in various sizes at art supply stores and online. These flat skinny suitcases usually have a zipper that runs three quarters of the way around so that they open like a book. Some have an envelope-like flap instead of a zipper. All come with a handle to make it easier to transport them. Storing posters flat will prevent them from accidentally creasing. Also, portfolios are usually more durable than other forms of storage containers. When storing posters, itís important to choose a rigid rather than a flexible portfolio to prevent it from bending during storage and thus damaging the posters contained in it.

Rather than laying posters flat inside a portfolio, itís a good idea to sandwich them between sheets of acid-free plastic. This is available on a roll. To prepare it, choose a wide flat surface and lay out the plastic first, cutting it so that itís an inch wider than the poster on all sides. Lay the poster on top of the plastic and then cut a second sheet of plastic to lay on top of the poster, creating a protective sandwich. A sheet of acid-free poster or foam board could be placed under the poster inside the plastic for added stiffness and durability. Lastly, clip all sides of the plastic with plastic or plastic coated paper clips, but donít let them touch the poster.

An alternative to storing art posters in a portfolio is to use a flat poster storage box, available at some office supply stores and online. These are usually made of cardboard and aren't as sturdy as a portfolio.

Either of these methods can be used to store individual posters or a group of posters, each separated by a sheet of plastic. However, itís important not to store too many posters together.

Tube Storage
The second method for storing posters is in cardboard tubes made especially for that purpose. Archival tubes are available at office supply stores and online. As with flat storage, itís important to encase the poster or group of posters in acid-free plastic sheets. Lay out the largest poster first, then the next largest, and so on, with the smallest poster last of all. Unlike with flat storage, it isnít essential to lay additional plastic sheets between each poster in a group.

Roll the posters inside the plastic, then tape the plastic so it stays rolled up. Carefully wrap up the ends like a wrapped piece of candy, or tuck the plastic in at the ends of the roll.
Slide the rolled-up posters in their plastic sheath inside the cardboard tube and seal it.

While this second method sounds easier, it isnít recommended for particularly valuable posters. The most valuable examples should be professionally framed and sealed and hung on a wall. This will make sure that each one remains in its best condition.

Stored posters should be checked occasionally to make sure that moisture or pests havenít gotten inside the plastic wrappings. Antique and relatively old paper goods are prone to damage and need to be watched carefully.

Labeling Posters
As with other collectible and art collections, itís important to use labels for identification.
While poster storage is important, labeling is doubly so. To avoid having to remove all posters from their encasements, especially when several are stored together, itís important to label them properly.

Apply sticky labels to not only the portfolios but to each poster sandwich inside them. The same goes for posters stored in tubes. Place all labels on the outside of each sandwich to avoid any damage to the poster or posters inside.

Remember, paper goods are delicate and can be easily damaged. Wash hands in hot water only and thoroughly dry them to prevent skin oils from damaging the surface of the posters. Better yet, purchase a couple of pair of white cotton gloves, also available at office supply stores and at archival sites online.

Always use both hands when gently handling posters. Never lift posters by a single corner which can cause tearing. And don't drag posters across surfaces which could scratch them.


Watch Video: Storing and Archiving Posters

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