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Stuffed Animal Husbandry: Caring for Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends
The New York Public Library is the proud home of the REAL Winnie-the-Pooh, the actual toy teddy bear that once belonged to Christopher Robin Milne, son of A. A. Milne, and the basis for the character Christopher Robin in the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
Winnie and his friends Tigger, Eyore, Kanga, and Piglet (also former well-loved toys of Christopher Robin Milne) have resided at the New York Public Library since 1987. We have an important job in taking care of Winnie and friends; these iconic stuffed animals are visited by thousands of children and their parents every year, and we want to ensure that they are safe and well tended so that many more generations of children can see the REAL toys that inspired their favorite stories.
Our first and most important strategy for preserving the stuffed animals is to monitor, record, and control the environment in which they are stored and exhibited -- this includes temperature, relative humidity, and light levels. High temperatures and humidity levels can encourage pests or mold growth, and excessive light exposure can cause fading and degradation of the fabric. We aim for stable and moderate temperature and relative humidity levels, and we try to minimize the total amount of light to which the objects are exposed.