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Old 14 January 2018, 12:25   #1
T.R.Schmidt
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Preserving Game Boxes

I've got quite a collection of game boxes, which I used to store in my (none-heated, non isolated) attic, because I've got no spare space anywhere else.

Generally they still are in good shape, but have become a bit wavy at the sides over the years and some start to lose colours, although I tried to protect them from sunlight.

I don't know what it is what fascinates me about it, I guess much is nostalgia, some just have beautiful art and others are good design examples of the 80s and 90s.

But since even my son has quite some interest in it (he's quite a fan of these decades) I'm thinking about how to preserve them best.

So here some questions about it:

My best and cheapest idea would be to put them in transparent plastic zip-bags, has anyone long-term experience with that?

Since even that will not last forever, I'm thinking about scanning everything so it can be reproduced in original quality. Most scans I've seen (HOL, Tosec) are not good enough for that (resolution too low), most have scratches, are not aligned straight etc., I'm thinking more of recreating them as high-res PDFs like you would for an original print.

I've got some experience with that since I reworked many posters (e.g. Turrican), the main problem with that usually is print-raster artifacts. Either you scan with quite low (600dpi) resolution or very high and try to compensate this with remove-raster-effects while scanning and afterwards. Has anyone good tips on that?

And since this is quite a lot of work, do you think there would be interest in the result in HOL* or Tosec (or anywhere else?).

Edit: Just to mention it, these have quite a large filesize

Last edited by T.R.Schmidt; 14 January 2018 at 12:38.
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Old 15 January 2018, 02:02   #2
scuzz
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One issue you may suffer is insect attack. Moths can bite a hole through anything and strip whole faces off paper. I lost a box that way. Also spiders do destroy a lot of boxes cus they crap over everything. Moisture degrades paper and if there is any oil or human residue, fingermarks, on the paper it can go pink or brown and even go mouldy. Best way to store boxes is in a dry environment and in plastic boxes or tubs so they can't be attacked.

I take all my inside contents out of boxes and stack books etc on shelves. The disks are then stored in disk boxes. And trust me I have a lot over 13000 disks. With boxes I stack them vertical on shelves and avoid any weight sitting on top. I keep them generally out of the light though stacked face on like books they never degrade. I have found game boxes to be quite stable.

There is no substitute for the original artwork and the boxes. Like I say I remove everything and catalogue and place empty boxes stacked or in tubs if they are going to be left unattended. You can try to avoid normal lights and use the LED when they are exposed to lighting. Keeping dry and free from insects is the biggest chellenge especially in a loft. Ventilate as best you can and keep in tubs and stack tubs and not the boxes.

As to scanning , doesn't hurt, but I'm guessing most games can be found on the web anyway. The books are valuable in truth and making good notes of the contents. And also.. avoid rubber bands... on anything. Destroy them all. And paper clips. Avoid wet fingers or even moist fingers.

Anyway just read up on saving artwork and paper etc . Fascinating subject. Have fun.

One last thing if you have any gear in a loft that has an electrical cable inside I would remove it cus it can react with the polystyrene inners and will melt on computer cases. Without doubt the biggest killer of stored kit in lofts. Cable burn. Dreadful.

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http://www.scuzzscink.com/amiga/scuzzblog.htm
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Old 15 January 2018, 09:18   #3
Predseda
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Could you take a photo of your collection? Both of you.
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Old 15 January 2018, 21:44   #4
T.R.Schmidt
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@scuzz: Thanks, very competent answer! Do you maybe have a picture of what boxes/tubs exactly you use?

Quote:
As to scanning , doesn't hurt, but I'm guessing most games can be found on the web anyway
Yes but mostly in poor quality. E.g. try to find a good scan of Ambermoon, I didn´t find anything near good enough for print. And mostly only the front cover.

Nice project I just discovered in this direction is https://bigboxcollection.com .

@Predseda: Sure, I´ll have a look next weeks, not easy to arrange everything

But I guess there are much larger collections than mine
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Old 17 January 2018, 16:02   #5
alexh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.R.Schmidt View Post
E.g. try to find a good scan of Ambermoon, I didn´t find anything near good enough for print. And mostly only the front cover.
I have lots of scans on my website

http://thalion.exotica.org.uk/games/...ires_cover.jpg
http://thalion.exotica.org.uk/games/...hires_back.jpg

Remember the site was created in the 90's where bandwidth is premium so even the "hi-res" scans are today low-res.

The RAW scans are still available on my HD and I have the box too. Albeit in my attic
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Old 20 January 2018, 01:20   #6
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Interesting subject and good info from Scuzz....I have an unreasonable attachment to all the old big box games I have. I dont remove the manuals but I do store the floppy disks in folders separately - its probably not needed to do that but makes me happy to do it that way.
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Old 27 January 2018, 02:12   #7
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I use Ziplock bags and it seems to protect them well so far (dust, humidity etc)

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Old 01 February 2018, 16:21   #8
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Hope the storing is going well. Mine are still currently boxed in the loft in storage tubs with lids on. Not got the space to get them out just yet.

I have protective sleeves for my SNES boxes and just did a really quick look on eBay and you can get them for big box PC/Amiga too.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-x-PC-Am...-/222742102707

These look a little pricey and you might be able to find them cheaper, or if you buy in bulk you might be able to get them somewhat cheaper too.

Have a love for box art too though. I'm currently working on a project called WeHeartBoxArt where i want to create a website dedicated to the love of box art and it's artists. Then there's the coffee table book to go with it! Haha. Just trying to build a community on social media at the moment though.
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Old 02 February 2018, 08:42   #9
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Originally Posted by paulnography View Post
Hope the storing is going well. Mine are still currently boxed in the loft in storage tubs with lids on. Not got the space to get them out just yet.

I have protective sleeves for my SNES boxes and just did a really quick look on eBay and you can get them for big box PC/Amiga too.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-x-PC-Am...-/222742102707

These look a little pricey and you might be able to find them cheaper, or if you buy in bulk you might be able to get them somewhat cheaper too.

Have a love for box art too though. I'm currently working on a project called WeHeartBoxArt where i want to create a website dedicated to the love of box art and it's artists. Then there's the coffee table book to go with it! Haha. Just trying to build a community on social media at the moment though.
Thanks for the link I'll give them a go.
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Old 02 February 2018, 10:41   #10
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Thanks for the link I'll give them a go.
No worries. Looks like they do 25 for £49 too, which sounds like a better deal per protector! But have a look around. There could be others that are cheaper on other sites. These are just the first ones i found.
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Old 20 February 2018, 19:29   #11
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No worries. Looks like they do 25 for £49 too, which sounds like a better deal per protector! But have a look around. There could be others that are cheaper on other sites. These are just the first ones i found.
I've ordered quite a few of these now and they look quality over the old boxes. They've got all the different sizes I need too of the various big boxes (from moonstone to North & south etc).

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Old 10 April 2018, 21:46   #12
T.R.Schmidt
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I´ve read a bit more about preserving books/paper (good advice, thanks @scuzz!) and for the time beeing decided to store them all in my little living-room-office. If boxed or not, moist and badly tempered environments are dangerous for paper.

Even putting them in plastic sleeves or boxes seems a bit risky since sometimes moisture cannot escape and end in mould.

I´ve only got to avoid direct sunlight, but in summer thats a good idea anyway.

Nice benefit is I´ve got to see my collection more, what use is it really if it just rots in the attic?

Still planning to scan everything if I have spare time.

Anyone living near Limburg/Germany? I had to sort out about 30 minor interesting (to me) boxes because I went out of space, maybe we could swap/trade a few.

Anyway, here two pictures of the result, does not look to impressive, does ist? But it´s about 140 boxes (Amiga and some PC). Plain discs, hardware and console-cartridges are stored elsewhere.

http://www.nemmelheim.de/temp/IMG_9289.JPG

http://www.nemmelheim.de/temp/IMG_9288.JPG


And: Collecting hardware sucks even more, I wanted to reactivate my trusty Amiga 2000, but it´s seems to have died of battery leakage last winter, unsoldering the battery and cleaning the board didn´t help.
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