Preserving a Museum's Collection

Dear Donia,
How should I store and preserve old pamphlets and documents and label books from a museum without damaging their value?

old pamplets

Q. Dear Donia,

I have been newly appointed to the title of librarian for a small museum. We have a plethora of old pamphlets and papers related
to the field. How should these be stored to preserve but keep them accessible for research purposes? I will also be cataloging
all the books. How can I label the books without damaging their value? The library will have limited use by outsiders but I still think
it is necessary to have a system in place. Thank you, Brandy

A. Dear Brandy,

Thanks for the great question! Pamphlets are tricky things to house but there are lots of good options and luckily papers are easier.

Papers are best organized according to archival procedures and stored in acid-free, lignin-free, buffered folders and in flip-top boxes. You can find example of these folders and boxes at our sponsor's website. The Society of American Archivists also has some advice for arranging museum archives.

Pamphlets can be stored in folders in boxes like the papers, in pamphlet binders, in a pamphlet box, or in 4-flap enclosures (see our sponsor's website for options).

To label the books, you can use acid-free,lignin-free, buffered flags made from 20 point folder stock. You can then label the flag however you want (pencil, permanent ink, laser printed, or label). The flag will extend above the book for easy access and not permanently mar the book in any way.

If you have any questions as you start to get into this project, feel free to ask again!