Preserving Mildewed Letters and Greeting Cards

Dear Donia,
How can I preserve mildewed letters and greeting cards?

greeting cards with mildew

Q. Dear Donia,

I have greeting cards and letters that have been damaged by moisture and mildew. What is the best way to clean them, separate some of the cards from the envelopes, and flatten them out? Also, some of the letters were written in marker form and are difficult to read because the writing has bled. Any help would be appreciated as the cards and letters were extremely supportive in getting me through a very difficult time. Thank you in advance, Tom

A. Dear Tom,

I am so sorry to hear that these special objects have gotten damaged. The best thing you can do is consult a conservator. Without seeing the collection, it is impossible for me to give you any concrete advice. The best way to find a reputable conservator in your area is to consult the American Institute for Conservation's "Find a Conservator" page. Simply put in your zip code and select a specialty (in this instance you would pick "Book in Paper").  If you have never worked with a conservator before, be sure to read the information that AIC supplies as it will make for a better experience all around. I hope you are able to find someone!

There are several qualified conservators in your area so there will be someone who should be able to help you.