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Handling Archival Materials

Handling Archival Materials

When using an archival collection in the Special Collections reading room, you will be asked to follow special handling practices to help preserve the collection.

Materials in other formats such as rare books and photographs have their own handling practices.

Use only one box at a table at a time.

Remove only one folder from a box at a time.

When you remove a folder, use an out card to mark its place.

Keep the folder flat on the table.

Keep materials in the order in which you receive them.

Turn papers in a folder like pages in a book.

If materials are clipped or stapled together, go ahead and use them if you can do so without bending the paper. Otherwise, ask a staff member for assistance.

If you come across photographs that aren’t protected by plastic sleeves, you will need to wear gloves while looking at them.

Carefully return the folder to its place in the box before removing another one.

Ask a Special Collections staff member if you have any questions. We’re here to help!