Tips & Tricks

How to Protect Historical Documents

By Abby Schreiber

Whether they're historical in the grand sense or simply historical to your own story, an objective truth is that paper is fragile. In truth, it's fragile the day it's printed! But, over time, the integrity of the paper weakens, leaving your documents susceptible to crumbling & staining. So, what can you do?

  • Always wash your hands before handling documents to avoid transferring any oils onto the page.

    • You should, however, always use gloves when handling negatives - fingerprints could permanently stain the images.
  • Make sure your documents are stored in a cool, dry place.

    • Lower temperatures slow the rate of chemical decay, and dryer spaces prevent mold or mildew from forming.
  • Store your documents in acid-free materials (like folders) or a sleeve designed for archival materials.

  • Keep your documents flat.

  • Have them digitized for peace of mind.

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