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


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...

Old letter

Q. Dear Donia,...: A letter written in 1806 is sandwiched between two panes of glass and framed.  I am afraid that the glass will break and destroy the letter.  Should I have the letter removed...

Q. Dear Donia,...: I have the original baby book of my dad given to me by my grandma. The adhesives are mostly tape, is there a way to change them without causing too much more damage or is it better to place...

Old scrapbook page

Q. Dear Donia,...: My grandmother's photo album from the 1920s has some lovely images, but they're all glued to these thick black scrapbook pages. Is there anything I can do, or how can I find a...