The Silent Killers

The past few weeks of my CCEPS internship has been comprised of me sorting and cleaning up the folders and boxes in order to create a cohesive system for researchers to easily find what they are looking for within the collection. I have been slowly relabeling and re-foldering the records into acid-free folders, which will help preserve the records.

 The picture below show box before rehousing (right) and you can see how the folders to not match and the folders are overstuffed. What you can not see is the newspaper clippings and staples that are inside each folder. These items may not seem harmful, but over time can cause severe damage the records. The majority of newspapers are not meant for longevity and are made out of low quality wood pulp, which is very acidic. Good storage is critical to the preservations of newspapers. However, if a newspaper or clipping is left within a collection, the acid can transfer and destroy other records. It is important for an archivist to replace the clipping with the photocopy of the clipping. The clipping can either be thrown away, or be preserved for those who wish to study the material used to make newspapers. Staples are an another item that can cause irreversible damage. Many staples can rust, causing permanent staining on paper records. In addition, other office items such as clips, rubber bands, binder clips, straight pins, tape, and post-it notes can all cause physical or chemical damage 
As an archivist, it is my job to preserve these records for future research. So what I have been doing these past free week is removing staples, newspapers, office binders, and taking out anything that could potentially damage the records. In addition, I have been keeping track of photographs which will need mylar sleeve protectors.The box on the left show records that have been successful rehoused into new acid free box, acid free folders, with no staples, and no newspapers.
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