Archiving your passports

On regular basis we share our experience about passport collecting but today I like to share HOW to ARCHIVE your treasures. Your items are of value – not only because of the money you spent for them but also of  HISTORICAL VALUE and INCREASING HISTORIC VALUE (because of historical aging). We invest a lot, sometimes a fortune in a single piece for our collection but with the same carefulness we need to consider a proper preservation for the items of our desire. Here is the way as I do – share with us how you do it.

Ordinary documents
…I keep in these kind of boxes, stable but light in weight, easy to store and to handle. Single documents are covered with a thin plastic sheet.


The real treasures
…are in these sheets which you can get at a stamp collector’s shop. Well protected, piece by piece, in a binder, easy to carry and to store. I use Optima 2 S from Leuchtturm as they are free of chemical softeners. Size is 202 x 252 mm (8 1/4″ x 10″). One sheet can cover 4 documents and is perfect for the usual passport sizes in booklet form. Leuchtturm has sheets in 11 different formats but only Optima 2 S and Optima 1 S are suitable for documents like passports.


Big sizes
…also in a special sheet in A3 format for large documents. Valuable items are separated piece by piece. I can’t remember where I bought these large sheets but they were expensive, also free of chemical softeners.


A4 format documents
…are stored in the same way with smaller sheets.

I know a collector in Southeast Asia who is using some kind of climate cabinet as the circumstances there are much different to Europe (e.g. humidity). Did you ever consider to insure your collection or did you already?

2 comments for “Archiving your passports

  1. Gil
    15 January, 2012 at 04:03

    If you live in a country with high humidity like Singapore it’s best to put valuable items in a dry cabinet. These are actually primarily used for photographic equiment (cameras and lenses), as high humidity can cause fungus growth inside the lens. See for some of their models. The humidity level can be manually adjusted in most models and 55% is a good setting for documents. My model has no temperature control – this is not so important for photographic equipment. Currently, it’s 26° C inside the cabinet which is not too bad. Since I buy passports from overseas any existing fungus may easily spread quickly in our climate, that’s why valuable documents go into the cabinet once they arrive.

    • 15 January, 2012 at 08:13

      Hi Gil. Thank you for sharing your experience. Very good input!

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