Friday, October 1, 2010

Archives Alive - BLOGathon!

October is American Archives Month: a time to focus on the importance of the collections of archival and historical records and to highlight the archival professionals and procedures responsible for maintaining these rich and complex documentary resources.

In celebration of this event, the reference staff of Wayne Public Library is sponsoring in October a 31-day “ARCHIVES ALIVE BLOGathon” to answer our patrons’ questions concerning how to care for and preserve your family memories. Wayne’s professional librarians trained in conservation and preservation will post to and monitor the Wayne Public Library’s Blog for 31 days (excluding weekends) offering tips and suggestions to help you with your personal family display and storage questions.

Please visit the Lockett Room at the library on Valley Road where more than 2,000 items relevant to Wayne, Passaic County or New Jersey reside.


To post a question - click on Comments.

A Librarian will reply to your question on the BLOG so check back for your answer!

20 comments:

WPL Book Discussion said...

Use a Scanner to scan historical family documents and burn them to a CD-R disk, put them in a storage media box that provides sleeves to protect the disks! Store them in a safe place!

Wayne Public Library Reference Librarian said...

When putting together your scrapbook or photo album pages, never use rubber cement, masking or cellophane tape, staples or hot glue gun adhesives. Acid-free acrylic adhesives may be used, preferably a small drop in each corner. We recommend using acid or lignin-free photo corners; most are pre-gummed and can be removed safely if desired.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Always handle books with clean hands and keep them away from food and beverages. Do not use rubber bands or paperclips to hold your page in a book as it will cause damage to the book. Books are often severely damaged during photocoying on machines with a flat plate. Never press the spine of a book down to get a good image.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Store slides vertically, not stacked and not rubber banded. Keep your slide collection in closed storage containment to protect them from dust and light. Handle slides from the mount only.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Keep your historical collections in areas away from well-traveled or public areas. They should be kept in the center of the building/house away from exterior walls, not in narrow corridors, where there are sharply angled access ways, stairs, or narrow doors. Basements and attics are usually not appropriate due to temperature fluctuations, extremes of relative humidity (RH), and potential leaks or floods. Water damage is a threat to storage areas in any location. Water or steam pipes are a hazard due to potential leaks and condensation, so locate storage areas away from pipes. If there is any risk of flooding, locate storage areas above the flood plain. As a further precaution, store objects off the floor on shelves, platforms, or blocks, and cover them loosely with plastic sheeting.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Mat and frame artwork and photographs using archival quality materials. Matting will prevent items from touching the surface of the glass. To protect against discoloration and deterioration caused by exposure to light, use UV filtering glass and plexiglass. Be sure to keep light exposure to only the absolute minimum necessary.

WPL Book Discussion said...

When storing clothing and textiles keep them in moderate temperature and humidity; avoid the attic and basement. Store single layer textiles flat when possible. Use acid-free tissue and acid-free boxes when boxing clothing and textiles. Do not use mothballs as it is not a good repellent and it is a suspected carcinogen.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Do you use "Post-its" as bookmarks? Although they are removable, they DO leave behind a faint path of adhesive. Dirt can eventually settle into the gummy trails and scratches the paper fibers, permanently damaging the paper. Eventually, pages may even fuse together.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Another tip for displaying artwork is to have a backing-board attached to the back. An acid-free mat board screwed to the reverse of a painting will keep out dust and foreign objects, and protect against damage during handling. Be sure that the backing-board covers the entire back of the picture. The backing-board should be attached to the reverse of the stretcher or strainer, not to the frame.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Another tip on matting artwork and photos- if you mat your own- When cutting out (acid-free!) window mats, save the cut out board to use with smaller prints as backing-board or another top window mat. Plan out your cuts from largest to smallest so you can get the most out of each sheet.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Saving newspapers: The first step to do is to unfold the newspaper so that the entire front page shows without having to turn the newspaper over to see either the top or bottom half. Store them in this opened position in a long flat acid-free box. Leaving newspapers folded in half for a long time will cause the acid to migrate to the fold line and eventually eat it so that then the newspaper will disintegrate into two halves.

WPL Book Discussion said...

There are four basic things you can do to keep your flag looking good for many years to come:
1. Keep the dust off the flag.
2. Keep the light off of it., so either limit the time you display it or put it behind UV reducing glass. Don't let it get direct sunlight.
3. Keep it flat. Put acid-free paper down, then the flag, then another layer of paper. The next best thing to flat storage is to carefully roll the flag on an acid-free tube (never use cardboard or wood, both of which are highly acidic) using the acid-free paper as a buffer on both sides. Then you can unroll it whenever you want to look at it. Store the flag in a closet or other dark area when not being displayed.
4. Control the temperature and humidity. The rule is that if you are comfortable- so is your flag.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Do not store your negatives and photographs together. Storage of negatives is best accomplished in sleeves or envelopes made of archival triacetate or polyethelyne. Store one negative or strip of negatives per sleeve or envelope. If the negative strips come back from photo processing containing a strip of paper or plastic taped to them, remove the tape immediately and place the negatives in individual protective sleeves. Store the negatives in a dark dry area.

WPL Book Discussion said...

*Three types of plastics are currently considered acceptable for long-term storage:

1. Polyester — Melinex® is a brand of polyester that meets the requirements of long term storage of photographic materials. Clear, smooth,and rigid, polyester gives support while letting users see the image.

2. Polypropylene — Untreated (uncoated) polypropylene is an acceptable low-cost alternative to polyester. It is less rigid but is clear, and can be used for photographic materials that do not need the greater support provided by polyester

3. Polyethylene — The softest of the plastics and the least clear.
*courtesy www.gaylord.com

WPL Book Discussion said...

Felt tipped pens and ball point pens should never be used on photographs because the ink can “bleed through” and stain the photograph.
Whenever possible, place identifying information on the enclosures rather than on the photographs themselves.
If it is necessary to have identification on the photograph itself, write brief notations lightly on the back with a lead pencil (No. 2 or softer).

WPL Book Discussion said...

Light causes fading and other damage to photographs and artworks. Keep photos and art (prints, watercolors, and other works on paper) in the dark as much as possible. Don’t put items on display in direct sun or bright light of any kind. Hallways or other rooms without windows are best. Install shades and put up heavy curtains where you can’t avoid windows.

WPL Book Discussion said...

To remove staples or old paper clips from documents, slide a thin piece of stiff plastic under the fastener on both sides of the document. Slide the paper clip off the plastic, or bend the edges of the staples up and pry it out with a pair of tweezers or a thin knife. The plastic protects the paper from abrasion and from damage by your tools. Do not use a staple remover, because it is likely to tear the paper.

WPL Book Discussion said...

To reduce the amount of dust and dirt that accumulates on books and shelving, floors in the area where book are stored should be kept as clean as possible. Floors should be vacuumed regularly. Sweeping is discouraged because it tends to stir up and scatter dirt. Floors should be washed and carpets cleaned when needed. It is essential to take precautions that prevent splashing of books on lower shelves by cleaning agents.

WPL Book Discussion said...

Fingerprints can cause chemical damage to photographs, resulting in bleaching or silver mirroring. Careless handling can cause physical damage such as abrasion, tears, or breakage. Use clean gloves or clean, dry hands whenever photographs are handled. Handle photographs carefully. Proper enclosures such as photo albums provide protection from fingerprints and physical support to protect against abrasion or breakage.

WPL Book Discussion said...

If your books or historical papers get wet, dry or freeze them. Mold will normally grow on wet materials in about 48 hours (sometimes sooner). If you cannot get the wet materials dry within 48 hours, it is best to freeze them. This will not kill the mold, but it will stop further growth until you have a chance to dry and clean the material.