As humans, we are the only creatures capable of caring about history. Other species live solely in the moment, caring only for what immediately surrounds them. People, however, feel complicated emotions when they think back on the past. As document restoration experts, we understand the poignancy and joy of looking back on familial archives, and as business disaster recovery specialists, we appreciate the importance of protecting the crucial documents of a company’s past.
Just as humans are the only creatures on Earth who can reflect on the past, our large brains also allow us to lay complex plans for the future. By following the archive storage tips we’ve listed below, you can protect your most crucial documents from hazards such as floods and fires. Prevent the need for personal or business disaster recovery services by adhering to these suggestions.
Get organized. If you don’t know what you have, it’s difficult to prioritize items for top-notch archival storage. Don’t just toss Great Grandma Ruthie’s pioneer day diaries in with old bills; prioritize your most precious documents and store them separately.
Store documents in a dry, cool, dark area. Avoid keeping important documents in a basement, where they are liable to be damaged by mold growth. Attics are not the best choice either, since they see wide fluctuations in temperature, which leads paper to expand and contract, weakening it. Ideally, your storage space should have a relative humidity of 45 percent and temperature under 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to store important papers flat, in a non-acidic container. Acid is one of paper’s worst enemies – it makes paper brittle and weak.
Protect important documents from sunlight. If you want to display your treasured item, protect it with UV-filtering glass.
Remove rubber bands, staples and paperclips. These items can rip and harm documents over the long haul. If you must have some form of fasteners, choose stainless steel paperclips or staples. Delicate items can be preserved in a clear polyester sleeve or folder. Don’t use tape to fix repairs (unless it’s archival-quality, acid-free tape), and don’t laminate documents.
Separate newspaper clippings. Newspaper is highly acidic, so it should be stored separately from other archives. The best way to preserve newspaper clippings is to photocopy them onto acid-free paper.
Prevent pest infestation. Monitor your storage area and take steps to prevent pulp-loving bugs from eating your historical documents.
Do not touch! Oil and dirt may linger on your hands and can easily be transferred to documents, so handle archives with white cotton gloves only.
Some familial or professional documents are so important that they deserve professional protection. As business disaster recovery experts, we can help a family or business anticipate and stave off potential archive destruction. And if the unthinkable has already happened, we can facilitate complete document restoration.
[ Photo by: malakins, via CC License ]