It is preferable to store fans in closed positions when the condition of the fan allows. In closed positions, fans maintain their shape and alignment, which prevents any distortion in their sticks that may occur if left in an open position for extended periods of time.

The fans are stored in individual boxes, and held in place with soft bumpers or tied with cotton twill tape. Boxes are lined with PhotoTex paper, polyfil pillow padding with Tyvek covers, or white Volara foam sheets. Whenever possible, a card with an image of the fan opened is included to limit the need to repeatedly open and close the fan.

Closed fans can be stored in three positions:
1. on their guards on a padded surface: for fans with wide, decoratively carved, or jeweled guards, the guard gives strength to the fan when in use and protects the leaves when folded closed
2. on their sticks, flat: when the guards are thin or if the weight of the fan would compress the leaves, such as those made of lace
3. on a right angle: to more equally distribute weight on both sticks and guards
 

from left: Fan, Swiss, about 1880–90, Ivory; carved, 28 cm (11 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.338; Brisé fan, Chinese for export, 1790–1800, Ivory, 20 cm (7 7/8 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.397; Brisé fan, Chinese, late 18th–early 19th century, Ivory, 25.5 cm (10 1/16 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.401; Brisé fan, about 1825–50, Ivory blades carved and pierced; carved ivory guards; silk; mother-of-pearl, 44 cm (17 5/16 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.402; Brisé fan, about 1830–55, Carved ivory blades; guards decorated with gilt-silver, garnets, pearls, turquoise; silk, 42 cm (16 9/16 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.339; Fan, Paraguan, late 19th century, Nanduti lace, 25.5 cm (10 1/16 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.199; Fan, French, about 1870, Chantilly lace, 27.5 cm (10 13/16 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.525.

This prefabricated acid-free box has seven compartments lined with Phototex paper. Volara foam blocks prevent the fans from shifting, and cotton twill tape, usually tied near the rivet, secures them closed. Each fan can be lifted in their compartment and separated from the group.

Brisé fan, French, about 1850–60, Painted paper, 43 cm (16 15/16 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.260.

This paper and ivory folding fan is stored in a closed position on its guard edge. It is tied into the custom 4-ply rag board box at the rivet and held in position with Volara squares.

Brisé fan, French, about 1850–60, Painted paper, 43 cm (16 15/16 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.260.

The fan in its open position.

Manufactured by Edmund Soper Hunt Fan Factory (American, Late 19th century), Fan, 1867–70, Silk leaf; tape; pierced wood sticks covered with gold leaf; mother-of-pearl; brass, 37.5 cm (14 3/4 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.361.

This fan is similarly tied into the box at the head and held in alignment with Volara squares. However, to prevent compression of the leaves by the gilded wood guard, the fan is stored on its stick edges.

Manufactured by Edmund Soper Hunt Fan Factory (American, Late 19th century), Fan, 1867–70, Silk leaf; tape; pierced wood sticks covered with gold leaf; mother-of-pearl; brass, 37.5 cm (14 3/4 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.361.

The fan in its open position.

Circular fan, Chinese for export, 1790, Ivory, 16.5 cm (6 1/2 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.396.

An ivory 'cockade' style folding fan on its stick edges.

Circular fan, Chinese for export, 1790, Ivory, 16.5 cm (6 1/2 in.), Oldham Collection, 1976.396.

The fan in its open position.

Brisé fan, 1905–10, Tortoiseshell blades, ring; silk, 30 cm (11 3/16 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1299.

A tortoise shell folding fan on its stick edges, with tassels wrapped in soft Tyvek for protection.

Brisé fan, 1905–10, Tortoiseshell blades, ring; silk, 30 cm (11 3/16 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1299.

The fan in its open position.

Fan, Italian, late 18th–early 19th century, Silver; filigree, Oldham Collection, 1976.353.

The brisé silver filigree folding fan is stored on its stick edges. The box has a Mylar window and is made of corrugated board lined with Corrosion Intercept, a material designed to remove pollutants that would otherwise corrode the silver filigree.

Fan, Italian, late 18th–early 19th century, Silver; filigree, Oldham Collection, 1976.353.

The fan in its open position.

Brisé fan, European, l1800–50, Silk, 15.9 cm (6 1/4 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.2091.

This delicate brisé style fan with inlayed shell is positioned at an angle so that its weight is shared between the sticks and the guards. A V-shaped insert, lined with PhotoText paper, supports the fan.

Brisé fan, European, l1800–50, Silk, 15.9 cm (6 1/4 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.2091.

A detail of the fan in its open position.

from left: Brisé fan, l1800–25, Pierced horn blades; silk; steel, 17.5 cm (6 7/8 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.2092; Brisé lorgnette fan, probably French, late 18th–early 19th century, Silk, 13 cm (5 1/8 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.2090; Brisé spyglass fan, probably French, late 18th–early 19th century, Horn, steel, glass, silk ribbon, 13.5 cm (5 5/16 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.2089; Brisé lorgnette fan, probably French, late 18th–early 19th century, Silk, 14.5 cm (5 11/16 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.2088; Brisé fan, possibly Dutch, 1800–30, Silk, 15.5 cm (6 1/8 in.), The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.2094.

Similarly, this box in a horizontal zigzag configuration is made of Coroplast board and lined with PhotoTex paper. The inlayed shell folding fans are set loosely in the V-shaped sections of the box.

A design sketch for the fans pictured above.