Preservation

Maybe you are doing service for your County and collecting the Minutes and Treasury Report from each monthly meeting. You are a little confused about how to keep the papers safe for future service, lets say, 100 years from now.

Should I remove staples or other metal objects from our documents?

Stapels and paper clips will ruin your grapevine's and other documents, eventually it destroys any paper that it touches. Discoloration will appear after a few years untill it finally starts to disintegrate the area around the metal. You should gently remove staples trying not to tear the paper. You can purchase archive quality paper clips. They look like plastic.

Is it okay to laminate a document?

Lamination is not considered a safe technique because the process may potentially damage a document due to high heat and pressure during application. Moreover, the laminating materials themselves are chemically unstable and contribute even more to the deterioration of the document. Lamination also violates a cardinal rule of conservation, and that is to only apply treatments that do not alter the item and which can be reversed.

How do we keep a document safe from deterioration?

The key to preserving your paper documents is to keep them in an acid-free, humidity-controlled environment. Your paper documents need protection from a variety of elements which contribute to their deterioration--namely: light, heat, humidity, acids in papers, plastics, and adhesives, other objects, pollutants, and pests.

You can store and preserve your paper documents in a few different ways. You can organize and file your documents in acid-free folders, and keep them in an acid-free box. Or you could place your documents in archivally safe plastic sleeves and keep them in an album or binder. Another popular alternative is to encapsulate a document between two sheets of polyester film.

Regardless of how you choose to store your documents, NEVER STORE THEM IN AN ATTIC, BASEMENT OR CAR. Extreme temperature and humidity changes cause rapid deterioration. Store your items in a room that is comfortable to you, with stable temperature and humidity.