Caring for your records
We all treasure certain documents or photographs as heirlooms, yet the historical value of others can go unrecognised. Overlooked as being of no importance, they may simply be thrown away or left to moulder in damp basements, nibbled by insects and mice or stored for years in filthy attics and vandalised outbuildings.
- To provide a secure area with controlled access to prevent theft, vandalism and loss
- To place the records in suitable climatic conditions with good air circulation, temperature and humidity control to prevent mould growth and accelerated decay
- To control exposure to light to prevent inks and colours from fading and materials from deteriorating
- To provide suitable and effective packaging methods to protect the records from physical damage, atmospheric pollution and light exposure when in storage
- To provide surrogate copies if possible
These guidelines are fundamental to anybody who has a collection in their care whether they are personal family papers and photographs or material held in libraries and museums. Remember that the care of records is the responsibility of all those who use them, work with them, or simply enjoy looking at them.