Back to School Safety – What About Records Safety?

Now that school is back in session, we’re all extremely aware of school zones and having to pay extra attention to our driving. Safety measures are in place to reduce our speed, refrain from cell phone use and heed stopped school buses. Shouldn’t we be as vigilant with protecting our historical records as we are with protecting our children?

The paper that we usually encounter (whether in bound books or in file form) is made from cellulose, which is derived from plants. Because of the chemical characteristics of paper, it’s susceptible to light and other environmental factors (like temperature and humidity), which can cause it to become brittle or yellowed or worse. Our goal is to preserve and protect your vital documents for years to come.

Perhaps one of the most important steps is to make an assessment of all your books and documents, noting which are in the poorest condition and making a plan for future preservation. Prioritizing which items to tackle first can be based on condition or which items are still in use (like index volumes) or a combination of both. Data Preservation Solutions’ consultants are experienced with creating detailed inventory sheets and are here to offer advice if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

While waiting for preservation work to begin, proper storage can decelerate whatever paper degradation has occurred. For paper items, this means an ideal temperature range between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity between 35 and 45%. Until you can get your documents to a conservator, this is your best option until items can be cleaned, repaired and placed into archival quality binders or storage boxes.

Once the books and paper are preserved and placed into the proper storage environment, they can last hundreds of years – well beyond your life expectancy. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today for an evaluation.

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