Document Handling

When handling archival material, we ask you to observe the points outlined below, in order to avoid damaging documents:-

1. Ensure your hands are clean and that you have not used hand cream prior to handling material.

2. Please do not lick fingers to turn pages. – Moisture is bad news for documents! Also, please turn pages carefully.


3. Avoid using fingers to follow text on a page. – A paper marker could be used instead.

4. Avoid leaning on documents. If you need to flatten them in order to read them, please ask a member of staff for suitable weights.

5. Please ensure you have enough space on the table to look at documents, and do not let them hang over the edge. This is of particular importance when looking at maps or other large documents.

6. Volumes should be placed either on a book rest or supporting cushion in order to avoid damage to their spines. Special “snake” weights are available, in order to keep pages in place. Please ask staff for assistance as required.

7. Please ensure that where documents are clipped together, or in a file, that they are kept together. Also it is very important that you keep documents in the same order you receive them, as this will impact on how they are perceived by researchers.

REMEMBER: IF IN DOUBT ASK A MEMBER OF STAFF – WE’RE HERE TO HELP!