Caring for Old Documents

By Maureen A. Taylor Premium

Caring for old Documents

  • Remove staples, paperclips, rubber bands and metal fasteners from documents. They deteriorate and cause damage.
  • Handle documents as little as possible and wear cotton gloves.
  • Store flat in acid-free and lignin-free enclosures such as folders and certain types of plastics such as Mylar.
  • Never laminate documents. (For step-by-step instructions on how to safely encapsulate documents instead, see the April 2001 Family Tree Magazine.)
  • Keep them in a dark place with a stable temperature and humidity.
  • Let professionals repair and de-acidify documents. 
From the October 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine