Dear Donia

Donia Conn

Document Preservation Kit from Hollinger Metal Edge

Please send your preservation questions to Donia.

We all have keepsakes we treasure and preservation specialist Donia Conn is ready with tips on how to take care of our special photographs, letters, books, and more!

In her advice column Dear Donia, Donia fields questions and helps people preserve their special mementos.

  • Should you dust your books?
  • Ever wonder what to do when your photo album pages get sticky?
  • What to do when you’ve plopped red sauce on your grandmother’s cookbook?
  • Dear Donia answers questions like these and is ready to help you care for your important souvenirs.

    Each month Dear Donia selects a question at random and sends the contributor a Document Preservation Kit from Hollinger Metal Edge. Read more about the Dear Donia Monthly Raffle.

    Answers to Previous Preservation Questions

 Hypes Family Papers

Q. Dear Donia,

I have little space in which to store my family history collection, numerous & various papers, photos, bibles, etc.  I have encased most in polypropylene sleeves, from there I...

damp basement wall

Q. Dear Donia,

If items (holiday decor, furniture, 35mm film negatives, etc.) have been stored in a damp basement and have a musty smell but no visible mold, what should be done to them before moving...

Old newspaper: Sacramento Reporter

Q. Dear Donia,

I have some old newspapers (from 1875) that I want to preserve.  Is there a low-cost way to digitize the content or should I plan on preserving the paper artifact?


Ice skating on a frozen river circa 1900.

Q. Dear Donia,...:

I am a volunteer at my local public library assisting with the preservation of articles and photographs through copying and arranging the copies of the photographs and articles...

USB portable flash drive

Q. Dear Donia,...: We plan to copy audio/visual information from tapes, CDs and DVDs onto USB drives.  Would  a neoprene case be a good place to store these USB drives?  Or would this be...

Discharge paper for Myron Kennedy,1865-06-23

Q. Dear Donia,

I would like to display in a frame my great-great-grandfather's Civil War discharge paper.  It has printing and handwriting on both sides.  What are my options?  It has...

Old photo album

Q. Dear Donia,

How can I remove old photos from those pesky photo albums with the "waxy" pages and plastic cover sheets? When I remove the plastic covering sheet the photos are tightly...