What is the best way to store multi-sized documents?
Q. Dear Donia,
We have a collection of pamphlets/booklets such as town reports, sermons, and almanacs from the early to mid 19th century. What is the best way to store these multi-sized objects? In the past we have used polyester "sleeves" in a properly sized document box. Would it be better to use acid free folders without the sleeves? Thank you for your recommendations. Alice of Westminster, Vermont Historical Society
A. Dear Alice,
This is a great question and one that I get asked a lot. Polyester L-sleeves are a great way to store fragile, single-sheet items when you don't have the budget to conserve them but you still want them accessible.
For pamphlets and other small bound items, it would be just as safe, easier to label, and less expensive in the long run to use acid-free, lignin-free, buffered folders. The standard size works well in boxes to prevent items from slipping out and getting damaged and the tabs make finding what you want more easy. The folders fit well in the document box and if you don't have enough to fill a box you can use spacers to provide support for all the pamphlets.
Another option, especially if you would like to integrate the pamphlets into your library, would be to use a four-flap pamphlet binder. There are also envelope binders but you run the risk of the pamphlet being damage sliding it in and out of the envelope.
Either folders or pamphlet binders (or your polyester sleeves) will work well for the pamphlets and almanacs. It sounds like whatever route you choose, these items are in good hands!
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask Dear Donia!