Archives Survival Kit

By Stacey Christen

Most of the time working in archives is ideal for someone who suffers with allergies. The environment is kept clean, the temperature and humidity are closely regulated. Unfortunately, I occasionally open a box or folder that sends my allergies into overdrive. At those times, my handy archives survival kit keeps me going.


Throat lozenges for that scratchy feeling.


Antihistamine, because I enjoy breathing.


And white gloves, not only to protect archival materials, but to keep dust off my hands.

Luckily, the allergy attacks are few and far between. But, when they show up, I’m ready to fight back.

You Look Glovely Today

By Lauren Amundson

Have you ever wondered why archivists, curators and researchers wear white cotton gloves when handling archival materials? Well, as it turns out, maybe they shouldn’t be. When handling paper, wearing gloves decreases a person’s dexterity. This could harm the paper because the person can’t feel it as well as with bare hands. The best bet is to wash your hands before touching materials. However, when working with items such as photographs, film, and negatives, gloves should be worn to prevent the damage caused by skin oils and fingerprints. Want to learn more? Here are two great articles on the topic:

gloves Gloves-Lintless-Nylon-White-Archival-Methods-v01


Home Sweet Home

By Stacey Christen

In 1957, Dr. Elizabeth “Pat” Roemer moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, to be an astronomer with the U.S. Naval Observatory. Pat decided to settle into town by having a new house built. She collected blueprints and brochures regarding aspects of her new home and saved them among the other papers in her collection. One of the highlights of my job is finding these examples of material culture.

img027Blueprint for 3 bedroom house in Flagstaff


img033Montgomery Ward paint colors


img037Rheem water heater brochure


img041Oven choices


img042Asbestos roof shingles brochure