The preservation of material is one of the primary focuses of the Archive. Many of the processes and material used in the creation of paper and photographs contain a certain amount of acid. Over time this can lead to the degredation of those items. By storing them in Archival Quality Material, and in the correct environmental conditions, we slow and reduce the affect of this degredation. Some examples are listed below.
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Boxes: The easiest way to preserve the environent in which archives are stored is to box them. This limits the exposure to harmful light, temperature and humidity fluctuations. Its important to use specific archive boxes, made using a process which eliminates acid and fastened with brass staples to eliminate the possibilty of rust damage.
This tape is unbleached and acid free, so contains none of the chemicals which can damage paper. It is is also flat, reducing the chance of it tearing into paper.
Brass Paper Clips
Standard paperclips are often made of steel and over time will rust, this rust will mark and damage paper records. Brass does not degrade in the same way.
Acid Free Envelopes
Adhesives used in envelopes can also degarde over time and have a high acid content which can damage records. These acid free alternatives are far better for long term storage
Many commercialy available plastic wallets contain chemicals that can react with and damage paper and photographs. Secol is inert and therefore can safely store items, with the added bonus of being transparent, allowing the item to be viewed without unnecesary handling.
Acid, inherent in the manufacturing process, combined with moisture in the air will lead to the degredation of photographs. This can be seen in these brown spots, sometimes called ‘foxing’. By storing materials in the correct packaging, and in a stable and appropriate environment, this damage can be slowed and reduced.
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