15 May 2008

Archival Preservation

Thanks to a few websites, I have a bit of a better idea of some archival products to use on my documents. Brodart - Library Supplies and Furnishing has some 'how to's':
  • Use cotton gloves to handle documents and then handle them as little as possible. (Although in the Archives class I took, the prof mentioned that cottons gloves are not always the best choice. Sometimes bare hands are better on paper documents, since the gloves can make, for example, book pages hard to handle.)
  • Test documents with a pH pen to determine whether or not the document is acidic or alkaline, which will help determine what products to use. (In my Archives class they said that no documents are ever free of this scale, but are always one or the other).
  • Keep documents out of the light when possible, and in dry areas.
  • Put all documents in plastic sleeves (mylar) with no more than 10 documents per sleeve. Place archival paper or tissue between documents.
  • Buffered tissue is for cotton, flax, lenin and jute, as well as color photos. This neutralizes acids.
  • Non-Buffered tissue is for wool, silk and textiles, as well as b&w photos. This has a 'neutral' pH.
  • De-acidify newspapers, which are very acidic.  There are sprays for this.
So, that's a start. Now I just need to see about reviewing my documents to see what I need specifically.

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