New to collecting

I've started purchasing cels recently and I had a few questions about storage. I read about the Itoya portfolio and purchased one which seems to work very well. I just have a few questions. Is the black paper in the sleeves good for storage? The cels won't stick to it, right? The second is that I am not sure what to do with cels that have multiple layers (the main cel is a character, with a second cel on top with just a mouth, for example). Can these be stored together in one sleeve, or kept separate so they don't stick? I have a similar question about original background art. Should these be kept separate. Thank you for your help.
Nov 23 at 6:03 PM

Welcome to cel collecting. Your questions are very good questions to ask. I will share what I have done, I'm sure other collectors have different ways but here we go.

The Itoyas are wonderful to use for animation storage. The black insert is supposed to be acid free so they should be ok, however, I have always placed every piece of art into a cel bag then put them into the Itoya. I'm sure the drawings and backgrounds would be fine on their own in the folder, but again, I have always placed them in bags before storing in the Itoya

Storing Multi-Layer Cels. I know many collectors that will leave the layers together and just store as is. I prefer to separate, bag and store each layer when able to do safely. For layers that consist of only a mouth or something small like that, I cut a small square out of a cel bag and place behind that small image. Then bag the whole cel and store. You can store a mouth layer in a whole bag but you really only need to keep the paint area off the next layer. Some collectors believe that if all the layers are properly aligned, they really don't worry too much about it sticking. Again, it all comes down to what you prefer and what you're willing to do.

Quick note, NEVER store hand painted backgrounds un-bagged with an un-bagged cel. The paint on the background has been known to bleed through the cel and it just turns into a mess

My method, I store ever cel / cel layers in their own bag when able. Backgrounds are stored in their own bag and the drawing in it's own bag. I have almost 25 years of collecting and this is the safest way I have found to store cels and their setups.

Hope this helps!

- Matt
Edited Nov 23 at 8:18 PM
Nov 23 at 8:15 PM
The cels will stick to the paper in the Itoya folder (or backgrounds, or anything paper), so you'll need to keep the cels in polypropylene (or polyethylene) bags. What you use is a matter of preference - I prefer PP for cels as it's like a clear, hard layer while I prefer PE for paper goods.

Some people store backgrounds and cels together. I usually do, but I separate them into different bags. They're not packaged together, even though they're in the same pocket in the Itoya folder. I find this solution works really well for me, as sometimes the background is very large and requires a different sized bag.

You can buy low acid (PP, PE) bags through
Cutiebunny's Coven
Nov 23 at 8:17 PM
Thank you both. This is very helpful. I will start bagging them separately.
Nov 24 at 5:29 PM
You might want to consider checking out Anime Beta at It's a website that most of us are members on, but there's a lot of helpful advice regarding conservation that you might find useful.

You can join the site too, if you'd like.
Cutiebunny's Coven
Nov 25 at 10:13 PM
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