In every wee-bit act of preservation of all of that which has passed, man in his present, as the preserver of his past, inadvertently and unknowingly, also simultaneously establishes the future in his very present by the very act of preserving his past as his present, which present had remained always as the future of the past.

Living the Life of the Advent Archivist - Archiving the New Life


A very worthy article recently uncovered in one of our archive drawers dated several years ago. The ABMCSC Archive presents this article as a reference to accumulating, preserving, handling, and protecting all materials manifesting through the Manifestation.

August 2006

Hello Archive Folks here is the information that will assist in preserving your Meher Baba Publications.

For any potential Meher Baba Publications collector, it's best to go into collecting with the understanding that the collection has to last long enough to be traded or sold or kept in perfect shape as long as probable.

Grading of Meher Baba Publications, that is evaluating them on the basis of their condition, is a fundamental part of rare book collecting and will likely remain an essential component as long as people collect Meher Baba Publications. After all, Meher Baba Publications are really no different than postage stamps, toys or vintage clothing and require special treatment to maintain their value.

But, unfortunately, the fact that a Meher Baba Publications is made out of paper- puts it under significant environmental
stress from the moment of its manufacture. The tiniest imperfection, according to modern grading techniques, a
stain, wrinkle or crease can drive it to a much lower grade. And collectors very much appreciate the Mint, Near Mint or very Fine Status. So great care must be taken, from the outset, to guard the direction of this collection.

What are the immediate enemies of preservation? There are seven, which the Meher Baba Publications collector needs to think of constantly. They are 1) Physical damage 2) Moisture 3) Heat 4) Light 5) Air Quality 6) Biological contaminants 7) The internal elements of the Meher Baba Publications itself-such as the quality of the paper and the chemistry of the inks.

It's difficult to believe but the experienced collector needs to handle his Baba Materials with extreme caution and avoid
them being handled by careless or inexperienced people, at least not without supervision. What's the use of having a
collection if in ten minutes your kid sister wreaks inestimable damage on the cover of a prized God-Man or, if you're older, your six year old spills ice cream on an irreplaceable God Speaks?

Even you, yourself, the Supreme Collector must pay homage to your collection by performing ablutions before perusal.
This means wash your hands! and do it very carefully so that the small amount of oily substances do not tarnish
and stain your collection. And you don't "rip" through your Meher Baba Publications. Lay them down on a table or other flat surface so that you won't bend them or injure the way they are put together- with staples. Staples can tear the
paper or become bent themselves. Handle your Meher Baba Publications with care-always!

Outside of physical care in handling, a lot of your preservation will be spent in proper storage. This actually can be a real expense and cannot be avoided.

Using Mylar "D" sleeves and acid-free cardboard backing is probably the most common state-of-the-art way. Stuff your Baba Materials in an acid-free storage box custom-tailored for your Meher Baba Publications. Physical storage will help you handle some of the various outside factors that endanger your collection.

For instance, physical storage in a dark, cool environment will prevent the destruction of the delicate, Meher Baba Publications inks through light. While fluorescent light, which has a high ultraviolet (UV) content, will wreak havoc with your beautiful, catchy Meher Baba Publications covers, regular artificial lighting as well as sunlight can wreak havoc on your collection also.Although you want your environment to be relatively cool, you do not want it too moist- not only because of the direct damage potential to your books through added moisture, but also because of the dangers of biological infiltration, mainly through molds and fungus. The cool temperature also puts a damper on fungus growth.

Good air circulation will also decrease the mold and fungus problem. Publications do not like garages and basements-with
the possibility of auto exhausts adding to the potential for the corruption of the paper, making it yellow prematurely.

But, unfortunately, there is another problem-the mortality of the paper and the acidity of the ink in the Meher Baba Publications itself. For the moment, there is no permanent realistic answer to this problem. After awhile- and this could be a good long while-the MEHER BABA PUBLICATIONS will degrade and eventually dissolve into the Nothing!

Let's learn to cherish the Advent by following best practices to protect and to preserve.