Quick Preservation Tips

[This blog post was written by Jennifer Blomberg, head of the Collection Management Branch.]

The primary goal of preservation is to prolong the existence of materials and prevent or slow down deterioration. Below are some simple tips that everyone can do that will have significant long term impact on collections.

Basic preservation activities include:

Environmental ControlPhotograph of a data logger

  • Avoid extremes in temperature and relative humidity
  • Provide a moderate and stable temperature and humidity level

Disaster Planning

  • Get your keepsakes out the attic, garage, or the basement
  • Avoid having collections in areas prone to flooding, high humidity and temperature fluctuations.
  • Have multiple copies and distribute copies of essential records geographically (among family members, for example)

Handling

  • Minimize handling and always handle with care
  • Fully support items
  • Make sure hands are clean
  • Make access copies— store the original safely and use copies for display, access, and handling

Storage ProtectionPhotograph of an open archival box

  • Protect items from dust, light, and handling with acid-free boxes, folders, or polyester sleeves
  • Use safe and inert plastics

If you’re not sure… ask someone for advice.

For more preservation information, please feel free to contact Jennifer Blomberg, Head of the Collections Management Branch at the State Archives of North Carolina at (919) 807-7308 or at Jennifer.Blomberg@ncdcr.gov

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